Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter, Roasted Vegetables and Giblet Gravy

Roast whole chicken with herb butter, giblet gravy and vegetables.

I wish this blog was in smell-o-vision because this roasted whole chicken smells magical.  The flesh of this succulent “yard bird” is perfectly flavored by the lush herb butter.  When teamed with roasted vegetables and homemade giblet gravy, you have a perfect Sunday roast to serve to your family and friends.

The first time I heard about Mary Berry I was in a cab with about a million groceries and was chatting to the female cab driver about how I love cooking and baking.  She said, “You know you have to get a Mary Berry cookbook. Don’t you know of Mary Berry?!”  She then proceeded to tell me how Mary Berry had the best cookbooks for all around family recipes and that I must go out and get one of them.  Now this was at least 3 years ago and I was so busy trying to unload all my groceries I basically forgot about it.

Then The Great British Bake Off started airing on the BBC and Mary Berry was everywhere.  I later learned that this woman was an institution with a great franchise of cookbooks.  And man can she do some damage in the kitchen even at the young age of 70.  The recipe for both the Roast Chicken and the Dauphinoise Potatoes (stay tuned as recipe to come later) are Mary Berry recipes featured in the August 2013 issue of the UK Good Housekeeping magazine.  I’m a little obsessed with GH.

Anyhoo…The recipe below is adapted from the original as I have my own way of doing things, I’ve omitted some things and changed the measurements of others to suit my taste.  I encourage you to do the same.  If you’d like to view the original recipe click the following link:  Good Housekeeping UK Roast Chicken with Herb Butter

Roasted chicken served with dauphinoise potatoes, carrots and onions.

I served my roast chicken with dauphinoise potatoes, stuffing, giblet gravy and roasted vegetables.

I have to get on my soapbox here about chicken. Chickens when mass produced can be pumped full of hormones, chemicals and water to add weight.  I’ve bought chicken a few times from a large chain supermarket here in the UK and in the last year their quality of meat has drastically decreased.  I’ve stopped buying meat there because the last couple times I’ve bought chicken there it is filled with so much water that the chicken is left with no flavor, no toothsome texture and disappointingly little meat.

I find that though you pay a bit more for a free range chicken (and a bit more for organic as well) you get so much more meat and flavor.  You also get the peace of mind that the chickens weren’t kept in cages, sitting in their own mess, never to roam in the sun.  You get to eat a happy chicken who got to strut around and was well fed and therefore means you will be fed well, as will your family.  I am lucky enough to have a great service here in the UK called Abel & Cole that delivers organic fruit and veg right to your door on a weekly basis. They also do lovely meat, poultry, bread, olive oil, and more!  The pictures I’ve taken in this recipe are from a chicken I had delivered from their service and wonderfully they include the giblets.  They don’t believe in waste and neither do I!  I encourage you to visit your local butcher for your meat and poultry. It’s much better than supermarket chain meat.  Okay stepping off my soapbox, let’s get cooking.

Ingredients:

3.25-4 lb / 1.5-1.8 kg whole chicken (I prefer organic, free range chickens and if you can get the giblets included but not necessary)
1/4 cup / 60 g butter
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Several carrots
Couple of onions
Pre-prepared stuffing (Optional: I used a boxed stuffing but you can just stuff an onion in the cavity instead.)
Cornstarch (Corn flour in the UK) or All purpose flour (Optional)

Try getting a whole free range, organic chicken.  Your local butcher should be able to help and ask if you can keep the giblets for the gravy.

Gorgeous organic, free range chicken with giblets

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F or 200 C.

2. Finely chop up your parsely, chives and thyme.

Finely chopped parsely for herb butter to coat your chicken.

Finely chopped chives for herb butter to coat your chicken.

Finely chopped thyme for herb butter to coat your chicken.

3.  Add the herbs to your butter and season generously with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

To make the herb butter mix your parsely, chives and thyme, salt and pepper and butter.

4. In a large roasting pan, add your giblets some carrots and a couple quartered onions.  You can leave the skins on the onion as it will help give the giblet gravy a lovely golden color.  Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with water about 2 cm deep.

In the bottom of a roasting dish put carrots, onions and giblets.  Fill with water until almost covered.

5.  Stuff your bird with prepared stuffing (like I did) or place an onion inside.  Place a wire rack over the vegetables and gibets in the roasting pan and place your bird on top of the rack.

Stuff your chicken and place on a wire rack over the vegetables and giblets in your roasting tray.

6.  Truss the legs of the chicken with some cooking twine/string.  It doesn’t matter how you do this, just that the legs are pulled together.  This is also an optional step, I’ve made chickens loads of times and not trussed them.  It just helps keep the stuffing in as it swells from the drippings.

Truss the legs of your chicken with cooking twine or string.  This is an optional step.  But it helps keep your stuffing from falling out during cooking.

7.  Make sure the chicken is dry by patting with paper towels and then cover generously with the herb butter.

Spread the herb butter all over the chicken after you've patted it dry with paper towels.

8.  Place the bird in the oven and baste every 30 minutes.  When the bird looks perfectly browned you can cover with foil to keep from going to dark.  Roast the chicken for approximately for 1.25-2 hours depending on the size of your bird.  You can find a good guide here for timings for your bird.  If a knife is placed between the body and the leg only clear juices should run out.  Make sure that the water/juices in the bottom of the pan never dry up, adding a bit more water if needed.

Baste the chicken every 30 minutes.

Look at that beautiful piece of poultry!

9.  Remove your bird from the pan and allow to rest on a cutting board or serving dish.

Place your chicken on a cutting board or serving tray to rest.

Cover your chicken with foil while it rests.

10.  Remove the vegetables from the tray and place in a serving dish and keep warm.  Remove the giblets and throw away.

Remove the vegetables and giblets from the roasting tray.

Keep your veggies aside and warm

11.  Place your roasting tray over a medium heat on the stovetop.  Use a wire whisk to get all the flavorful bits that sometimes get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Place your roasting dish with all the drippings on the stovetop over a medium heat.

Use a wire whisk to scrape up the flavorful bits that get stuck on the bottom of the pan.

12.  Add a bit of cornstarch (corn flour in the UK) to the liquid.  Start with a tablespoon and add a bit more at a time until you get your desired thickness.  Or you can continue to simmer the liquid until it has reduced to your desired thickness.  This can take some time and as I was in a hurry I used the cornstarch.  You can also use flour instead of cornstarch though cornstarch tends to be easier to work with.  Don’t worry if you get lumps we are going to strain the gravy in the next step.  However, you can better avoid lumps by taking a tablespoon of cornstarch in a separate bowl and adding a bit of the cooking liquid to it at a time until it is fully incorporated and thinned and then adding that to the pan to make the gravy.

Add cornstarch or flour to the liquid to thicken.

13.  Set a seive over your gravy boat or a bowl and strain the gravy.

Strain your gravy to remove any bits.

Use a spoon to help push the gravy through the seive.

14.  There will be some fat that begins to separate from the gravy. Strain off as much as possible with a spoon or by using a gravy separator.

Strain the fat from the gravy.

15.  Cut the string that was used to truss the bird and remove the stuffing and put in a separate bowl.  Carve your chicken and serve with gravy, stuffing and veggies…and maybe some Dauphinoise Potatoes (recipe coming soon).  Enjoy!

Serve your chicken to guests with veggies and giblet gravy.

Yummy roast chicken as part of a tasty meal.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter, Roasted Vegetables and Giblet Gravy

  1. Pingback: Brain Tastes From the Interwebs | Jeff Parker Cooks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s