This is an update to my recent Thanksgiving turkey post to show you how I used a similar technique this week for oven roasting a chicken. The key is using a raised bed of carrots, celery and onions to elevate the chicken in the roasting pan, and adding a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to begin the collection of drippings for the gravy.
I trim the chicken of all extra skin, fat and the tail while cleaning the bird, and then split it into two halves for simpler roasting. I then slather the chicken halves with Extra Light Olive Oil, and season it under and over the remaining skin, before arranging the chicken halves on the raised bed of vegetables. Trimming away the excess skin and fat creates clearer drippings, and the raised bed of vegetables contributes to a flavorful broth for making the gravy. Just be careful lifting and moving the roasting pan, as our chicken weighed 5 pounds, and you don’t want hot drippings to spill over.
We cooked our chicken halves at 375 degrees F for an hour and fifteen minutes without the oven convection feature, basting once with drippings after 45 minutes in the oven, and then tented the chicken halves on separate plates for 20 minutes under aluminum foil. The vegetables and drippings were then carefully poured into a colander and collected in a pot underneath it. Mash the celery a bit in the colander to capture extra moisture and flavor, before discarding the spent vegetables. The broth should have a minimum amount of fat after earlier trimming away all the extra skin and fat from the bird.
We made homemade mashed potatoes, gravy and mixed vegetables for our meal, and saved enough chicken afterwards for a total of six meals each for the two of us. Poultry is a very economical meal when made at home, and one that can be enjoyed in many different ways. You can reheat the leftovers for the next day, serve chicken and gravy over rice or spaghetti noodles, and of course make wonderful chicken sandwiches ~ enjoy! 🙂