Roast Chicken

Simplicity itself.

1 1   chicken
  butter/bacon drippings/other form of fat
1 bulb 1 bulb   garlic
2 2   shallots
  salt and pepper
0.5 cup   flour
1 cup   chicken stock
0.5 cup   white wine

A classic.
1. Preheat oven to 250C. Arrange chicken in roasting pan and place garlic bulb in cavity. Roughly chop shallots and scatter in pan. Rub chicken with whatever fat you are using. I like to use a mixture of butter and bacon drippings as the bacon fat gives a nice flavour to the meat and really crisps up the skin. I don't usually stuff my chicken but make the stuffing separately and drizzle in a little of the drippings to get that rich flavour.

2. The chicken will take about 20 minutes per pound plus an additional 10 to 20 minutes. It should also reach an internal temperature of 185F/85C. Continue to baste with either the pan drippings or more butter/fat about every 10 minutes or so.

3. Once the chicken is cooked, let the meat rest while making the gravy. To make the gravy remove the chicken from roasting pan. You can leave the chicken on a serving plate covered with foil until you are ready to carve. To make the gravy turn on the stove burner to low and place the roasting pan with the drippings on it. Using a whisk scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with a little butter, white wine and chicken stock and thicken with flour. The measurements I have given are rough estimates. If you have a lot of drippings you won't need as much liquid and vice versa. Basically you want a nice flavourful gravy that's not too thick or too thin. I like chicken stock and flour, other people add instant gravy or liquid browner or cornstarch. Stick with this recipe if it's your first time or until you're comfortable. Gravy is one of those things that should be easy to make but can be so easily rendered inedible. Keep the gravy hot while carving the chicken and setting out side dishes.

4. This chicken also makes fabulous sandwiches. It is sometimes worth it to roast two as they can be small and leftovers are always delicious.

Roast chicken is deceptively easy to make and always delicious and versatile.