I've said it before and I'll say it again...I LOVE meals you can get ready the night before and then just throw in the oven the next afternoon/evening! I came across this particular blog "Cooking with Carrie" from Donna's blog, I believe, and was drooling over her recipes! I've made my feelings about whole chickens very clear in previous posts, but lately, they're one of the least expensive types of poultry/meat to buy, so I love finding new recipes. Just to forewarn you...this chicken does cook on a slow oven for about 4 hours, so it's something you'd need to make on a day in which you don't really have much going on--especially if you're wanting it done around a more "normal" dinnertime. Both the white and dark meat were equally moist and flavorful! I did not end up making the gravy, as neither my husband or I are big "gravy fans", but Carrie's recipe sounded good, so I included it. If it's even remotely close to being as good as the chicken, I'm sure you'll love the gravy, as well!
Gravy Ingredients: Chicken drippings 2 tablespoons flour 1 can chicken broth (or 1 cup water and a chicken bouillon cube)
In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub chicken inside and out with spice mixture--make sure you use all of it! Stuff the pieces of onion and garlic cloves into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place chicken in a roasting pan (or 9 x 13 dish). Bake uncovered for 4 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees...approximately 4 hours. Let the chicken stand for 10 minutes before carving; discard onion and garlic.
To Make the Gravy...
Carefully remove chicken out of the pan when it's done cooking. Pour all the drippings into a glass measuring cup, leaving any browned bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Let the drippings stand for a minute or two until the fat rises to the top of the measuring cup. Set the roasting pan over medium-low heat (you may need to use two burners at once.) Spoon out 4 tablespoons fat from the top of the measuring cup and put it back in the roasting pan. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and whisk. Whisk flour and fat for 1 to 2 minutes until the flour turns a nice golden-brown color. Pour the measuring cup drippings and can of chicken broth into the roasting pan, whisking and scraping off the encrusted bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer mixture for 2 to 3 minutes while whisking the entire time. Adjust the thickness of the gravy, as desired--if it is too thin, simmer, whisking often until the gravy is as thick as you want it and if it is too thick, whisk in a little more chicken broth. Taste the gravy and season it with salt and pepper if needed.
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)