Recipes and Cooking Tips à la Guyette
Roast Chicken with Natural Gravy
Roasting the bird breast side down is critical, because the juices run down and keep the breast meat from drying out. Some chefs roast their chickens and turkeys breast side down for all but the last 15 minutes. This cooking method also ensures that the meat on the bottom doesn’t become mushy.
When the chicken is stuffed with the mirepoix, it develops the dish’s “flavor profile.” When used this way the mirepoix is discarded.
Be sure to scrape up the browned food bits or the fond to incorporate into the gravy.
The gravy needs to simmer a full 20 minutes in order to develop its full flavor.
One 3–5 lb. chicken
to taste salt
to taste pepper
as needed oil or butter
1.5 oz. onion, medium dice
0.75 oz. carrots, medium dice
0.75 oz. celery, medium dice
1. Remove any giblets from chicken. Check inside cavities to make sure they are well cleaned.
2. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Truss the chicken.
4. Rub the outside of the trussed game hen with oil or butter (butter promotes faster browning). Season the skin with salt and pepper, as it will be served with the meat.
5. Place the mirepoix in a roasting pan and place the chicken, breast down, on the mirepoix. Or stuff the chicken with mirepoix and place the breast down in roasting pan.
6. Place chicken in an oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). After 15 minutes (not longer), turn the heat down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
7. When the chicken has been in the oven for 15 minutes, turn it breast side up. Baste with the fat (or with small amounts of stock) every 15 minutes, and finish roasting. Total cooking time is about an hour (twenty minutes a pound), or when leg meat registers 180 degrees F, or juices run clear in leg meat.
8. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and let it rest.
1.5 cup chicken stock
0.5 oz. flour
to taste salt
to taste pepper
9. To make the gravy, the juices need to be separated from the fat to make the roux. This can be done in a glass measuring cup. Just let it rest for a bit to separate.
10. Set the roasting pan on the range over high heat and brown the mirepoix well with some of the fat but do not let it burn. Add flour to the mirepoix, stirring constantly for 4–5 minutes.
11. Add the strong stock to deglaze the pan, while stirring to avoid lumps.
12. Boil until the gravy comes to a simmer.
13. Strain into a saucepan, using a china cap. Season carefully with salt and pepper.
14. Serve chicken with gravy.
All-butter pie dough
Pie dough will freeze well and retain its butter’s bright yellow. If it’s just put in the refrigerator, the iron in the flour will oxidize and turn the dough gray.
All butter is preferred over vegetable shortenings, which are an unhealthy source of trans fats.
1.75 cup flour
.5 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
.5 cup ice water
Put flour and salt in bowl, cut in butter with pastry blender, and add cold water, wrap and chill.
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