I’ve posted it before, but I generally make a pot roast of a whole chicken. My husband doesn’t care much for chicken, except for fried chicken, but he will eat this, and then he’ll eat it again the next day.
1 chicken, whole, innards removed
3 large carrots, or equivalent in baby cut carrots
2 stalks celery
1 or 2 onions
3 or 4 potatoes
As many garlic cloves as you like
Chicken broth (boxed low sodium is best)
White wine, if desired
Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme
Remove and save the excess fat around the vent and neck openings. Remove and discard the feathers and feather remnants that the factory missed. Working from the vent opening, loosen skin over breast. Dice fat with some of the herbs, and put it between the skin and the meat. This makes the chicken self basting, the breast gets a little extra protection (which it needs) and a little moistening (which it also needs).
Peel and cut up the veggies. I generally cut them to be no bigger than two inches. I just slice the potatoes in half inch wide slices. In a big stock pot (big enough to contain the chicken and vegetables), put the potato slices in the bottom. Stuff the chicken’s cavities with onion, celery, and carrots, and garlic if you are using it. You’ll have some left over, but that’s OK. Put the chicken on the potatoes, dump the rest of the vegetables into the pot, and add a couple of cups of broth. Add a cup of wine if you’re so inclined. Sprinkle more herbs on and around chicken. I think that this dish is salty enough, especially if you use cube or powder bullion, so make it without salt at first. Also, I don’t eat black pepper, but most people will probably want some. You can do whatever you like to the giblets, my husband generally wants the liver fried, and for me to stick everything else in the pot. I don’t like giblets, except to make stock from.
Cover and stick the whole thing into a low oven, anywhere from 275 to 325. I plan to let it cook for about four hours. Many times, the chicken will fall right off the bone, and that’s OK with us, we don’t consider it overcooked. The potatoes will become wonderfully flavorful with the broth and the other vegetables.
If you have a fat separator, use it on the liquid. You can make gravy, if you like, but we also like to just use the broth on the food.
After the first meal, I pull the meat off the carcass. I put the skin and bones back into the pot, and at least some of the broth, and make delicious stock. This freezes well and it’s very comforting to have some stock in the freezer, in single servings, because I’ve reached the point where I just don’t like canned soup very much any more.