Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roast Chicken and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

A delicious old standby, made with lemon, rosemary and garlic.

Roast Chicken and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
1 lemon
3-4 sprigs rosemary
4-5 cloves garlic
Olive oil
4 russet potatoes, cut into 2" cubes
2-4 Tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup milk, half and half, or cream, depending on how decadent you want to get
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Remove neck & giblets from chicken cavity, and rinse and pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, then quarter the lemon and put it inside. Peel the garlic cloves and put them inside. Tuck in the rosemary sprigs. Put the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and coat the skin with olive oil, then sprinkle the skin liberally with salt & pepper. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours, until the skin is crispy and golden brown, and the meat registers 170 on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chicken from the oven and tent with foil for about ten minutes, to let it rest.

In the meantime, cover the potatoes with cold water and cook on high until the water boils, and then for about 15-20 minutes more, until the potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and return them to the hot pot to cook off any excess liquid. Mash the potatoes with a masher or a ricer, and add the butter and milk/half and half/cream. Start with just a little butter and dairy, and add more if it seems too thick. Season liberally with salt and pepper. If the chicken isn't done yet, you can keep the potatoes warm by putting them in a bowl over simmering water (like a double boiler).

Once the chicken is done, pour the drippings into a fat separator (if you've got one, or a regular measuring cup, if you don't; skim off the fat from the top). Add two tablespoons of the chicken fat to a saute pan, and then add the flour. Cook the flour for a minute or so, and then add the skimmed chicken drippings and a cup of chicken stock. Whisk until smooth, and season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve the gravy over the chicken and mashed potatoes.

Serves 4, with leftovers if two of those people are kids.

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