I’m sure you already have a good recipe for a roast chicken, but how often do you go to the trouble to make gravy? Here are some simple guidelines for gravy.
Take the neck, gizzards, and liver from the cavity of chicken. While chicken roasts, combine these with one and a half cups water, half an onion, and a celery stalk. Toss in a few dried or fresh herbs if you have them — thyme, tarragon, whatever. Add a little salt and pepper.
Boil for about 20 minutes, then strain.
When chicken is done, transfer it to a platter and deglaze the roasting pan on top of the stove. Remove as much fat as you wish. Add your stock and boil a few minutes. At this point you can do either of two things: Stir in an emulsion of equal parts butter and flour (one to two tablespoons should be enough), and cook until thickened. Or you can just sprinkle in about a tablespoon of that miracle product Wondra flour, which will not clump up in the boiling liquid. See? Easy, peasy.
Glazed Chicken Germaine’s
This recipe is from a now-defunct restaurant in Washington, D.C. called Germaine’s. It was served with steamed rice, shredded carrot salad with rice vinegar and sesame oil, and slices of tomato.
3 egg whites, beaten
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch strips
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
5 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. duck sauce
2 Tbsp. black vinegar (never had this, I just add extra rice vinegar)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
5 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. chili paste
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Combine egg whites, two tablespoons oil, and three tablespoons cornstarch. Beat until smooth. Pour over chicken strips and marinate at room temperature 20 minutes.
Mix garlic, ginger, vinegars, duck sauce, soy, sugar, and chili paste. Set aside.
Heat two cups oil in wok or frying pan over medium high heat. Fry chicken in small batches until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Dissolve remaining tablespoon cornstarch in three tablespoons cold water. Pour out all but one tablespoon oil from wok and add sauce. Bring to boil, add cornstarch, and cook over low heat until thickened. Return chicken to pan and coat pieces.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Chicken Fricassee with Dill
This is an old recipe from Gourmet magazine. It is delicious!
1 4.5-5-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 carrot, halved
1 leek, well washed and quartered
Bouquet garni (2 stalks celery, 3 sprigs parsley, 1 small bay leaf)
6 white peppercorns
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1/3 cup flour
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dill, snipped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet cook the chicken in three tablespoons each of butter and vegetable oil over moderately high heat until it is lightly colored. Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large heavy saucepan and add carrot, leek, bouquet garni, and white peppercorns.
Add chicken stock or broth, and bring to a boil, skimming the froth that rises to the surface, then simmer the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for one hour and 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a dish and keep it warm.
Strain the stock into a bowl. In a flameproof casserole, melt half a stick of butter, add flour, and cook the roux over low heat, stirring, for three minutes.
Remove the casserole from the heat, add four cups of the stock in a stream, while stirring, and cook the sauce over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining stock for another use.
In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and sour cream. Stir some of the sauce into the egg mixture, and stir the mixture into the remaining sauce. Add dill, lemon juice, and the chicken, and heat the fricassee, but do not let it boil. Season the dish with salt and white pepper.