I thought I might inspire you to roast a chicken...
I bought a 3.4 lb fresh chicken at the Ballard farmers market from Stokesberry Sustainable Farms. That little bird provided dinner for four nights. Here's how:
Day 1: Roasted chicken and vegetables
Day 2: Leftover chicken and veggies (plus gravy that I made the night before but didn't use)
Day 3: Chicken stock used for Pasta with Chantrelles
Day 4: Leftover chicken stock for Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
This is a great way to stretch your meals and use up extra veggies you have on hand to make a stock. Homemade stock is especially good for reducing in sauces or for simple soups like your basic chicken noodle. Here's what I've been doing for a simple roast chicken on day 1...
Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
Adapted from Ina's Engagement Roast Chicken
3-4 lb chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
1 whole head garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
fresh herbs like thyme or parsley
2-3 T butter, melted slightly
2-3 T butter, melted slightly
Good olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and thickly sliced4 carrots, peeled & cut in half or into chunks
2-4 parsnips, peeled and cut in half or into chunks (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Then add two lemon quarters, the garlic, some herbs, and some onion slices into the cavity. Slather the butter all over the outside of the bird and season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken in a small roasting pan (I have used a lasagna pan and a smaller option depending on how many veggies I have). Place the reserved lemons, the sliced onions, carrots and parsnips if using into a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Pour the mixture around the chicken in the pan.
Roast the chicken for about 1 hour, until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer chicken pieces to a large platter and top with veggies.
You can make the gravy now or after dinner and use for leftovers. Directions for gravy backing up one step....
While the chicken rests, prepare the sauce. Remove the carrots and parsnips. Leaving the lemons and onions in the pan, place the pan on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Add the stock and sprinkle on the flour, stirring constantly for a minute, until the sauce thickens. Add any juices that collect under the chicken and allow too cook for a few minutes to combine flavors.
After dinner, throw the carcass and any loose bones in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next morning throw it in a large pot with a yellow onion, shallot if you have it, carrots, celery, a whole head of garlic, whole black peppercorns, and any herbs you have on hand. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for several hours. Drain through a fine sieve and throw in the fridge over night, skim the fat and voila - homemade chicken stock.