The Tastiest Chicken in the East

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

by Rick Gualtieri

I love chicken almost as much as writing. Roast Chicken is like a mini-holiday…minus the annoying relatives. However, nobody wants to be served chicken that tastes like it’s been mummified in the Sahara. Not even gravy can save fleshy cardboard.

My recipe’s priority (besides not killing you from Salmonella) is a moist, delicious bird with minimal effort. It’ll provide an excellent chicken, gravy, and a side dish.

   Ingredients:

  • One chicken (duh!)
  • Vegetables
  • Spices
  • One can of store gravy

Tools:

  • A deep baking pan, larger than the chicken
  • A gravy pot
  • TurkeyBaster
  • Meat thermometer

Cooking time: 350 degrees, ~approx 3+1/2 hours

Prep time: About 1/2 hour.

Step 1: Rub it on, baby!

You’re going to make a dry rub. This will keep moisture trapped inside and awesomely season it.

Here’s what’s I use: Unless otherwise specified, ~2 tablespoons each:

  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Black Pepper
  • Mustard Powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Chili Powder
  • A large pinch of Salt (1/2 tablespoon, overly salty chicken is nasty)

Make enough to cover the chicken. Leftover rub can be used to season the gravy and vegetables.

Step 2: Veggie time

Fill the baking pan with vegetables of your choice, leaving enough room in the middle for your chicken.

Some suggestions:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes

Lightly season them with the leftover rub from your chicken. These will serve as our ready made side-dish.

Step 3: Stickin that chicken

Let’s get “intimate” with our chicken…no not THAT way, you perv!  Jeez, some of you people are weird.

Unwrap your defrosted chicken.  Remove the neck and giblets from inside of it. Open these and put them into your gravy pot.

Now it’s time to rub your chicken.

You don’t need a thick coating, but it should be even and cover the whole bird. Pour rub on the chicken and spread it around with your hands.

You may notice in my picture that the legs are rub-free. That’s because my children are weird and refuse to eat anything “spicy”. As long as you don’t have oddball offspring, cover all parts of the chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 4: Gravy and beyond…

Get a jar of store gravy. The cheap crap is fine. It doesn’t even need to be chicken gravy. Why? Because store gravies ALL taste the same…i.e. fairly nasty by themselves.

Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who will just heat up a can of gravy and serve it as is. What is wrong with you!? That’s it!  Begone!  Begone from my sight!

Now that we’ve gotten rid of them, we can continue. Store gravy by itself isn’t well…gravy. It is, however, an excellent base to make some badass gravy.

Pour half the jar inside the chicken. Yes, I said inside of it. See that big hole in your bird? Fill it with gravy. You’re cooking it inside of the chicken. This will keep the insides moist and will also absorb the flavor of your chicken.

Put the chicken into the oven to cook.

Take the rest of the gravy and pour it into your sauce pot.

   Step 5: Cooking, not cremating

Set a timer and let the chicken cook for an hour.

   After that, grab your turkey baster. Siphon up any liquid. Use it to baste the chicken and vegetables. After another            hour, repeat this step.

   By then your chicken should be turning a nice golden color and smelling heavenly.

Step 6: Stick a fork in it, literally.  It’s done!

After two and a half hours, check it every twenty minutes. Overcooked chicken will still be dry. This is a recipe, not a miracle!

Use your thermometer. Forget what you learned growing up, a temperature of 180 or higher will result in dry chicken. 165 is considered safe. 170 is your cutoff, don’t let the chicken go beyond. Trust me!  I’m not trying to poison you here.  I’ll save that for a future post (kidding!).

Your chicken and veggies are now finished. Don’t believe me? Grab a carrot from the pan (yes it will be hot). Eat it!  Damn good wasn’t it?

Add any excess liquid from your pan to the gravy pot.

Turn the stove to medium heat and bring your gravy to a boil. If you have rub left over, use that as seasoning. Boil it down to a…well…gravy-like consistency, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.

You should wind up with gravy that’s flavorful and non-oily.

You now have a cooked chicken, a wonderful side dish, and awesome gravy to go with it. Why are you still reading this!? Go and eat!

Good luck to you!  May moist chicken bless your future endeavors.

*******************

Rick Gualtieri is the author of four books. The PopTart Manifesto is a humorous collection of short stories. Bill The Vampire and Scary Dead Things are horror comedies. His upcoming novel, Bigfoot Hunters is a horror adventure that will be released in February 2012.

You can visit Rick on the web at his blog: www.poptartmanifesto.com

or at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Gualtieri/e/B00596NITU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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