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A Whole Roasted Chicken - Can do a Whole Lot

I refuse to purchase just chicken breasts, BUT I'm not even lying when I say my favorite thing to do is roast an entire chicken. I just think its seriously the easiest dinner known to man. You do NOTHING except for watch that bird sit in the oven.... yes you can buy a pre roasted chicken for like $6 or even $4 (I can't remember) at HEB or Costco, but at least if you do it yourself you can use all of the bird and you can control the flavor.


I'm not a coupon-er and normally am not really a freak when it comes to grocery store pricing, but I will say that a whole bird is like $3.99 per pound compared to a $7 per pound chicken breast price. I usually get a 4 pound bird (between me, my husband and my son that will include some chicken for the freezer and leftovers).

You can put ANYTHING in the roast whatever flavor you want your chicken to be. I find the best tasting and most useful in any all around dish is just a lemon and olive oil roasted chicken. So I put the chicken in my roasting pan, coat it in olive oil and cut up about 3 large lemons. One lemon's worth of wedges I stick inside the bird with maybe some rosemary or a bay leaf and the other two I squeeze the juices all over the chicken and add salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the bird for 15 minutes at 400 and then lower the temperature to 375 and cook for a remaining hour and 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of chicken).

Once its cooked, transfer chicken to plate (cutting board or other surface) to let rest and let the rest of the juices release. Spoon out some juice from the original roasting pan and set aside.

I like to roast the vegetables we are actually eating with the meal separately. (375 degrees for 45 minutes is always a good rule of thumb).

After about 15 minutes of letting the chicken rest you can cut out all of the meat. Save all of your bones and skin!!! I know a lot of people aren't dark meat eaters, but using the whole bird is a way for you to use the dark meat in stuff like enchiladas, tacos, soup, chicken salad, anything where you don't really notice that you are eating the dark meat.

NOW, for the chicken gravy, so I am dairy free so obviously you can substitute real milk and butter when needed but this is what I do....

Melt 1/2 stick vegan butter, add that chicken juice you had sitting aside. Once you have all liquid add about 4 tablespoons GF flour (or regular depending on your diet) and stir until paste forms. Adding salt and pepper. Then add about 1 cup of almond milk and stir. Continue to add 1/2 cup of almond milk at a time until the gravy is the consistency that you would like. You can always make it more runny but you won't be able to make it thicker.

Lastly...the skin and bones. Use these to make homemade chicken broth. Once again, you can put WHATEVER you want in the broth. Onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, lemon, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves are all great beginner ingredients. I like to sauté the veggies first then add the skin and bones. Add your water and let simmer for a few hours. Strain and let the broth cool over night in a large bowl in the refrigerator. Scrape the top of any grease and you can then transfer into smaller containers to freeze or can to use later.

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