My mother's recipe for roast chicken with all the trimmings (stuffing! chicken gravy!), first published in Kitchen Parade in 1965 - in print, naturally. It belongs to a special collection of her recipes, Kitchen Parade by Shirley, published online in 2009 in celebration of Kitchen Parade's 50th anniversary.
“A roast chicken with all the trimmings rates high on the list of everybody’s favorite meals. So many of the younger homemakers are afraid to roast a chicken. It sounds so complicated and so much fuss. It really isn’t.
The secret is to have a stuffing recipe that everyone likes so that preparation time is cut to the minimum. This may not be so easy. Some times two adults have completely different ideas of good poultry stuffing. It took me seven years to achieve one that my husband and I like. Maybe you’ll like it too.”
In my mother’s childhood, Sunday dinner was often roast chicken with all the trimmings. Family lore says that her English-born father carved a chicken with great skill and flourish. There was no fancy carving in my own childhood home but I sure do remember looking forward to the special occasions when Mom would roast a chicken, complete with stuffing and chicken gravy.
I’ve made my mother’s roast chicken several times this spring. Her recipe may date back 45 years but it’s a classic and works beautifully every time. Plus, call me surprised that making stuffing first adds only about 10 minutes of preparation time.
MOM'S ROAST CHICKEN
Time to table: 2-3/4 hours
Serves 4 with plenty of leftover cooked chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 – 3 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk whisked with about 1/4 cup milk
- 1 whole chicken, rinsed and dried inside and out
- Kitchen string, about 3 feet
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chicken drippings (reserve the rest for gravy another time)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup liquid (milk or vegetable water)
- Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 325F.
STUFFING Saute the onion and celery in the butter over low heat until they are tender and yellow. Crumble the bread into the pan and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, adding more milk if needed.
ROAST CHICKEN Spoon the stuffing gently into the body cavity. Don’t pack it in as the stuffing swells during cooking. 'Truss' the chicken. Grease the breast and legs with butter. If the chicken is very fat this isn’t necessary but it keeps the meat of a young chicken moist and tender. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in a covered roasting pan for about 1 hour. Remove the cover and bake one more hour uncovered so that the chicken will brown.
CHICKEN GRAVY Fifteen minutes before serving time, remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer to a carving board, cover with foil. You should have about two tablespoons of drippings. Slowly add flour and blend well. Slowly add the liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick. Add seasonings to taste and you may want to add some commercial gravy coloring.
SERVE Scoop the stuffing out into a serving dish. Carve the chicken onto a platter. Serve with mashed potatoes, a vegetable and a crisp green salad. Save the chicken carcass to make Homemade Chicken Stock.
I've seen such complicated instructions for trussing a chicken, all which seem to be most concerned about saving kitchen string. With my technique, you may end up snipping off extra string, but it's extra easy. Do it once, you'll do it again without thinking.
Place the chicken on flat surface, breast-side up. Cut about three feet of kitchen string. Working from the string's midpoint, wrap the string around the tips of the chicken legs a couple of times, tying them together to close the cavity, also so they'll rest close to the body. Now, wrap the string around the whole chicken twice. Catch the wing's 'elbows' the first time around, the wing tips the second. Now tie a bow, as fancy as you like.
A Menu Starring
More Chicken Recipes
Roast an Extra Chicken for Quick 'n' Easy Suppers
Recent Favorites from A Veggie Venture
© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade