Nothing says Sunday dinner more than a juicy, crispy roasted chicken with home-made gravy. As an added bonus, you can make your own home-made chicken stock from the 'leftovers.' I like to rub honey on the skin of the chicken to get a nice dark and crispy skin.
Roasted Chicken with Herbs, Honey and Lemon
1 large roasting chicken, between 4 and 7 lbs.
fresh herbs (whatever you have), salt and pepper
1/2 fresh lemon
2 garlic cloves, smashed
about 2 T honey
1 cup white wine, chicken stock or water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove all the interior packaging from the chicken and rinse the chicken well with cool water. Place in your roasting pan (rack or not). Stuff the bird with a big handful of fresh herbs. If you don't have fresh herbs, sprinkle the cavity with dried rosemary, thyme, basil, etc. and salt and pepper.
Take the lemon and squeeze it into the cavity and keep it there. Put in the garlic cloves. Drizzle the honey over the skin of the bird and rub it around with your fingers. Pour the wine around the bird in the bottom of the pan.
Roast for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and roast 15 minutes for each pound. When done, check the chicken to make sure the juices run clear. Remove from roasting pan onto a cutting board and let rest, covered loosely with foil, for 15 minutes before carving.
Now's the time to make delicious home-made chicken gravy. First, let the pan juices cool slightly and pour through a wire sieve into a gravy separating measuring cup or similar device where the fats can accumulate at the top. Pour off as much as the fat as possible. Place chicken juices in a pan and heat until simmering. Mix about 1 T of flour in 2-3 T of water and stir into pan juices. Heat and stir until it thickens.
After you have enjoyed your roasted chicken, now is the perfect time to make home-made stock. The store-bought stock has improved greatly over the years, especially with the all-natural brands, but nothing beats the taste of home-made stock in my opinion. Take the entire bird - bones, herbs, garlic, lemon - the entire works and place in a stock pot. Add enough water to cover it and let simmer for about 1 hour. Allow to cool and strain into a colander, catching the liquid in a large bowl. Discard the solids. Label and freeze in smaller quantities (I do 2 cups). You will be very happy that you took the time to make home-made stock the next time you need it.