I thought I had lost the pictures I took when I cooked the chicken, but I found them, so I thought I’d share.
What surprised me the most about chicken 101, was that it was so easy. Though it takes some time to make from-scratch recipes, most of it is just oven or simmer time.
So here are the recipes I used again:
Why did I use all Barefoot Contessa recipes? I guess because I’ve seen the show enough to know that Ina makes chicken at least once a week for her husband, so after about 4,000 times roasting a bird, she probably knows her stuff.
I liked her techniques of basting the chicken with melted butter before roasting, and cooking it on top of a bed of veggies. You get an incredibly caramelized bunch of goodness in the bottom of the pan, which makes your stock and gravy better.
The chicken came out just perfect. Crispy skin and all done inside. You might have to adjust the cooking time, depending on your oven and the size of the bird.
The next day I simmered the bones with some fresh veggies, water, and spices (just adjusting down the recipe for one bird instead of three).
The recipe called for leaving the pot uncovered, but next time I will cover it, as I evaporated a little too much liquid. My gas stove cooks so much hotter than our old crappy electric one did, so I’m still getting used to that, too.
*Edited to add my stock recipe, which looks like this:
1 chicken carcass
1 onion, cut into fourths
1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
10 cups water
Simmer, covered, on low heat for 4 hours.
When the stock’s done, you can put it in the fridge until a little fat layer forms, and just scrape that off. Then it’s ready for whatever you want to do with it. I put what I didn’t use in a plastic container in the freezer.
For the gravy I finally realized how much harder it is to replicate the consistency in a vegetarian version. With meat pan drippings it comes together pretty much instantly! However, I still say my veggie shallot gravy is awesome. It just takes a little more work.
The last thing I did was shred the remaining chicken pieces and roll them up inside corn tortillas for some easy enchiladas.
I’m still perfecting that recipe, but I’m sure I’ll have something to share soon.