This is my mother's recipe for baked chicken. There are few dishes that smell as appetizing (okay, maybe cookies smell better) as a baked chicken. It just smells homey.
In our family, when we make baked chicken, the sides are just as important as the main dish, so I've included them here as well. I always make gravy, biscuits (usually from the Jiffy baking mix), mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Enjoy!
PS - Though there are a lot of steps, a baked chicken is really quite easy to do. It was one of the first dishes I produced on my own when I became a grownup and left the nest.
Mom’s Baked Chicken
1. Wash chicken and pat dry. Remove any bags of chicken pieces that may be inside chicken cavities, and set aside.
2. Stuff chicken just before roasting – not ahead of time. (See Stuffing directions below)
3. Fold legs behind chicken when placing in pan.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees – will cook for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours; about 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
5. Rinse neck and gizzard, cover with water, season with ½ tsp salt, sprinkle of onion powder. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
6. Cover chicken for at least first hour of cooking. I usually uncover for about the last 30-45 minutes of cooking.
For 1 cup of gravy, you need:
2 tbsp fat
2 tbsp flour
1 cup liquid (broth)
When chicken releases its juices (around 1.5 hours of cooking), move juices to a measuring cup with a baster. Let sit for a few - the fat will rise to the top. Skim the fat off the top with a tablespoon and place fat in pan, while counting how many tablespoons you wind up with. Add the appropriate amount of flour (see above). Cook roux (that's what fat plus flour is called) over low to medium heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
1. Wash potatoes. Skin them and slice into pieces.
2. Heat salted water to boiling and add potatoes.
3. Boil for 25 minutes
4. Drain potatoes
5. Mash potatoes (or put through ricer) until no lumps remain. Add milk or ½ and ½ in small amounts, beating after each addition. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Beat vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy.
Stuffing (two ways)
From a bag (like Pepperidge Farm - but NOT Stove Top)
Bag of stuffing mix
1. Melt butter called for on bag
2. Add 1-4 tsp sage (depends on how sage-y you like your stuffing)
3. Stir for a few minutes
4. Add chicken broth as called for on package
5. Follow remaining package instructions.
Stuffing from scratch
2 T butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 t sage
1 t thyme
1 bag stuffing mix
6-10 slices of white sandwich bread, left out overnight to dry and become "stale"
1. Put 2 T butter in a small frying pan, add 1/2 c minced onion and 1/4 c minced celery and saute lightly for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in 1 t sage and 1 t thyme, then add 1 can chicken broth and simmer for a few minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put stuffing mix in bowl, tear up bread you left out overnight and add to bowl. Pour warm mixture over the bread mix. You may need more liquid, and that's okay - use more chicken broth. Mix all of this up, and then stuff your chicken. You can put anything that doesn't fit in an oven-safe dish that you can cover. Cook any unstuffed stuffing for at least 30 minutes at 350.
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