The year and a half it took us to sell our house I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking. The most difficult issue I deal with when relocating is not having my own space to cook in. Cooking is extremely personal and an intimate experience for me and so to be without my island, my knifes, my spices is like being lost out at sea. I feel aimless, defeated like a drifter without direction. So after finally moving into our new home last winter I was eager to christen my new range and oven. The very first meal I prepared after moving in was Thanksgiving dinner. The propane to the range was literally turned on the previous day. Needless to say, I was a hot mess on Thanksgiving and even though the meal was sublime, we ate pretty late. I took the turkey out of the oven too soon and kept opening the door letting all the heat out like it was my first time cooking ever! It’s hiliarous looking back on it now but at the time I was pretty frazzled. Afterwards all I could think about was redeeming myself with a roast that didn’t nearly send me into an anxiety attack. One of my favorite meals, other than Thanksgiving, is roast chicken. I love poultry and could eat chicken everyday. I wish I didn’t but there it is. I’m an egg slut too. So chickens got no chance around me or my kitchen. For this dish I combine the roast chicken with a potato trio, Pearl onions, roasted garlic, country gravy and Micro greens. I didn’t freak out about the new oven, kept my cool instead, and produced a beautifully roasted bird. It just doesn’t feel like home until I’ve roast something perfectly in the oven and poured naughty gravy all over it.
Detwiler’s Farm Raised Half Chicken
5-10 each of Baby Purple, Red, & Yukon Potatoes, washed left whole, skins on (adjust amount for potato size)
1 Bunch Pearl Onions, trimmed, washed and left whole
4-8 cloves garlic, skins removed, left whole (adjust per preference)
1 cup Organic Free Range Chicken Broth or homemade stock
2-3 tablespoons EVOO
1 tab of butter
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prep the chicken, on a clean work service coat the entire chicken in the EVOO and generously season the entire bird with salt and pepper. Feel free to add whatever seasoning combination you desire, however salt and pepper is more than sufficient. Set chicken aside. Over med/high heat in a large dutch oven, melt one tab of butter. Add Pearl onions and saute until translucent and golden, about five minutes or so. Toss in garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Deglaze with the cup of chicken stock and gently scrape any fond (pronounced “fahn”, French word meaning “bottom”) from the bottom of the dutch oven. Add potatoes and bring broth to a boil. Reduce and simmer potatoes five minutes. Turn off heat, place chicken on top of potatoes breast side up leaving the top of the chicken exposed above the stock. Carefully place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Check chicken’s internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Chicken breast should read 165 degrees and thighs should read 175 degrees. Continue roasting (covered if skin is crisp) until desired temps are reached. Once cooked properly, turn off oven, remove dutch oven and allow the chicken to rest at least 20 minutes on a cutting board. Break chicken down as desired and serve with mashed potatoes and country gravy. Garnish with chopped Micro greens if desired.
Potato Trio Method:
Adjust seasoning of potatoes, Pearl onions and roasted garlic.Remove from dutch oven and place on your favorite serving tray, if desired. Serve with roast chicken and country gravy.
Country Gravy Ingredients:
about 2 tabs of butter (I use fresh rolled Amish Butter from Detwiler’s Farm Market)
about 2 tablespoons King Arthur All Purpose White Flour
1/2 cup Kilby Cream Half and Half
1/2 cup Cashew Milk (or 2% milk)
Salt to taste
A very generous amount of fresh cracked Black Pepper, the more the better
In a cast iron skillet (or the same dutch oven used to roast the chicken) over med heat, melt 2 tabs of butter. Add two tablespoons of flour and combine with butter. (1:1 ratio) Saute about one minute. Whisk in the half and half and Cashew milk and slowly bring to a simmer. Adjust your stove flame or heat accordingly. Add in salt and a good 2 teaspoons or more of black pepper. Whisk continuously until milk has reduced to a thick creamy gravy anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. You want the gravy to coat the back of a wooden spoon, if it is too thin it will not coat your spoon. So continue simmering and whisking until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve hot over potatoes, roast chicken or pretty much anything. This gravy is that good!