I will not insult you by attempting to pass this off as an appetizing photo. We both know it isn’t. The good news is that this chicken recipe is the opposite of the photo. It’s juicy, flavorful, and comes with two bonuses- jus and stock.
· 1 happy chicken
· a couple of celery stalks (chopped)
· 1 large onion (diced)
· bacon grease
· salt & pepper
· spices- we usually use oregano and thyme and then add things like sumac, or chili powder, or cayenne. Herbs de Provence are a no brainer. Whatever suits your fancy!
· Pre-heat oven to 350 (you can lower temp and roast longer as well)
· Season your bird with spices of choice
· Heat a heavy dutch oven type pan (large enough to fit your chicken) over medium high heat. When your pan is good and warm add a scoop of bacon grease, let it melt and then place the chicken breast down in the pan. It should sizzle like the dickens, that’s good! At this time add the diced onion, and let it caramelize while the breast side is searing. Stir the onions on occasion.
· Sear the bird for several minutes until it is a fancy golden brown.
· Flip over and sear other side. Once you flip the breast side up, stir the onions some more and add the celery
· After both sides are seared to your satisfaction and the vegetables are cooked down, place the lid securely on the pan and place in the oven (leaving breast side up). If you don’t have a pan with a tight fitting lid, first cover the pan with foil and then put the lid on.
· Bake for approximately 60-90 minutes. It’s done when your meat thermometer says it’s done (measure in the deepest part of the thigh near the bone)
· When the chicken is done you’ll find the most magnificent pool of juice at the bottom of the pan. Pour through a strainer, mashing the vegetables into the strainer with a spoon, allow to sit for a couple of minutes, then skim the fat off the top or use a fat separator. Keep the veggies you’ve strained out of the jus for use in the the bonus stock.
· Serve chicken with jus on the side for dipping. Yum!
Don’t throw that carcass away, make it into stock! Keep all bones, skin and the giblets and throw back into your dutch oven with the strained veggies, any stray carrot stumps, celery heads and onion bits you have lying around. Fill with water and simmer on very very low for at least 12 hours. Strain the chunks out and refrigerate. Once cool skim fat off the top. Use the stock now or freeze it for later.
P.S. This recipe is attributable entirely to my hangry husband who does a whole lot of delicious cooking, especially while I’m in school.