Roast Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy
When we were young, my mother would cook almost every night a dinner (a feast, really) of meat with at least three different vegetables, one of them being a potato of some kind (my father loved potatoes, a taste he passed down to my 2 nieces, my daughter and of course my sisters and I). I think back on that with amazement. A lot of cooking. But a lot of pots and pans as well, which of course my sisters and I would be responsible for taking care of every night. I think my duty when I was small was drying. But eventually I graduated to cleaning the counters and then actually washing the pots and pans. We always sang songs while we tidied up the kitchen, I guess it would help keep us from getting grumpy or fighting, I don’t know. I vaguely remember them being songs from musicals….maybe that’s why I can’t stand them now anymore! haha!
I have not taken up the torch from my Mom, cooking a meat with vegetables dinner every night. I wanted to cook differently and since I usually clean the dishes, it needed to be more simple.
But this is a traditional dinner from when I grew up and a tribute to my Mom. I have made it many times. If you serve it with mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, broccoli with cheese sauce and cranberry sauce, it could be considered a mini-Thanksgiving dinner!
This recipe uses giblets which usually include the heart, gizzard and liver of the chicken. It’s usually packaged up with the neck and put in the cavity. I have started to see roasting chickens without this addition, so when purchasing a chicken make sure all are included.
This is a 3 fold recipe: it includes making stuffing, roasting a chicken and preparing gravy, so give yourself plenty of time.
Roast Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy
1, 6 pound roasting Chicken, with giblets and neck included (I use Perdue Oven Stuffer Roaster but what ever is available to you)
3 cups of dried bread crumbs ( breadcrumbs you have made yourself is absolutely necessary)
1/2 medium onion, minced
half of Gizzard, chopped very finely
8 ounces butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon of Bell’s Poultry Seasoning (found with the spices at your supermarket)
1-2 tablespoons of chicken stock, made from the giblets and neck
Juice and fat from cooked turkey (what is left in roasting pan)
half of Gizzard, very finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock, made from giblets and neck (may need a bit more, depending)
1-2 tablespoon flour
salt to taste (starting with 1/2 teaspoon)
Take out the giblets and neck from the chicken. Place in a medium saucepan and fill up pan half way with water. Set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, clean cavity of chicken with water, dry inside and out with paper towels. Put rack in roasting pan and put chicken on top. Refrigerate.
When hour is up, drain giblets and neck, saving stock and gizzard.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut gizzard into two pieces. Carefully remove any hard stuff or cartilage. Save one piece of gizzard for the gravy. The other piece, put in a mini-prep Cuisinart and chop very finely or with a knife chop finely. Put in large bowl. Put 1/2 onion in mini-prep and chop finely or with a knife chop finely. Place in bowl. Add to the bowl, dried fresh breadcrumbs, melted butter and Bell’s Seasoning. Stir together thoroughly but lightly until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of chicken stock. Stir again. It should be moist but still crumbly. If you think it’s too dry, add one more tablespoon of stock.
Remove chicken from refrigerator. Dry the inside cavity one more time with paper towels. Stand chicken on its end and place the stuffing lightly into the cavity. Press gently if need be to get all the stuffing in. Sit chicken back upright, breast side up. Bring the flap of neck up over the stuffed cavity and secure it to the body with one skewer horizontally. Sew up flaps on either side with one skewer (see pictures below). Place chicken in oven and roast for 2 to 2-1/4 hours until internal temperature of chicken and stuffing is 165 degrees.
Remove chicken from oven and set chicken on a cutting board. Turn off oven. Take out rack and put in sink to soak (a time saver!) and place roasting pan on 2 burners (vertically and burners are not on yet). Take out 2 skewers from Chicken and remove stuffing, placing into oven proof dish with cover. Place stuffing in oven while making the gravy.
Turn up heat of two burners to about medium. Put in about 1 tablespoon of flour into roasting pan and with a flat whisk, whisk juice with fat and flour together until thoroughly combined. If not thick enough, add one more tablespoon of flour. Cook this mixture (officially a roux) for about one minute, stirring constantly and scraping up any brown bits from the chicken. Add about 1 cup of stock and the finely chopped gizzard to roasting pan and stir thoroughly until starting to bubble. If too thick, then add more stock, 1/4 cup at a time. When the gravy seems smooth (it will be a bit lumpy from the brown bits, this is fine) and to the thickness that you like, add salt to your taste, starting with 1/2 teaspoon. I don’t like alot of salt so this is a taste preference. It’s better to add less salt than too much. Pour gravy into a serving dish (or glass measuring cup!)
Cut chicken up by removing legs first and then slicing breast meat and dark meat. Place on serving dish. Serve with stuffing and gravy (and other things too!)
Stock made by using the giblets and neck:
the gizzard: cut in 2 and remove cartilage
chopping up gizzard in the mini-prep:
Stuffing ready to combine ingredients:
what the stuffing should look like when you are done:
first skewer. A picture is worth a thousand words:
Then close up the flaps on either side of the cavity and vertically, ‘sew’ the edges together using one skewer.
Again, the picture, the thousand words:
I used to use the string method but got tired of having to have cotton string hanging around just to truss a chicken, so I developed this method. I hope it works for you.
stuffing in oven proof dish:
This is what the juices look like from the chicken:
after adding the flour:
after adding the stock and finely chopped gizzard:
ready to serve:
Just the way my son likes it!
And the way my husband likes it!:
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