Roast Chicken Dinner — Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Roast chicken with mashed potatoes, peas and
gravy. It’s one of the great meals of all time, and I think I’ve got it down to a
science. I roast my chicken in a slightly unconventional
way that, among other benefits, results in especially good gravy. I want to thank Skillshare for sponsoring
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free. In a 10-inch skillet, I put a little olive
oil, and then an approximately four-pound chicken. You don’t have to do this, but
I like scoring the legs. Three cuts straight down to the bone. This makes for really thoroughly
cooked, fall-apart, crispy drumsticks. Then I grind on a ton of pepper — enough
for both the top and the bottom of the chicken. Same with the salt. Enough for the whole chicken.
Then I smoosh all the oil and the seasoning around the entire chicken, right there inside
the pan. If I’ve got it around, I’ll stick a piece of lemon, a shallot and maybe some
herbs inside. And look, because I did all that right inside
the pan, I only have to wash my hands once in the entire prep of this chicken. Now here’s my big trick. Turn the heat on
medium under that skillet. While the oven preheats to 400 F, I just cook the bottom
of the chicken on the stovetop for like a good 15 minutes. I honestly don’t know why
everyone doesn’t do this. This solves the problem of the white meat always being done
before the dark meat is. The dark meat, the thighs — those are on the bottom, getting
blasted with heat right now. Also near the bottom is the super-thick part of the breast
that’s always lagging behind the rest of the white meat when you roast normally. Basically I leave it on here until it smells
like the bottom is about to start burning, then I just throw it in the oven. The convection
setting is great for roasting chicken, if you have it. Once that’s in, I can work on the potatoes.
I start with about a pound of red potatoes. The skins taste good and look pretty, no there’s
reason to take them off. I just cut them into some smaller pieces that’ll boil quicker. Then I do one big Russet potato. I like the
texture and flavor combination of the two kinds of potatoes together. But Russet skins
are gross in mashed potatoes. Baked or roasted they’re great, but boiled they have the
texture of wet construction paper, so that’s why I peel this one. And then I cut it into a little bigger pieces
than the red potatoes, because the Russet cooks quicker and I want them to be done at
the same time. Fill up the pot with water, and while it comes
to a boil, I peel and chop a ton of garlic. I’ve tried all kinds of flavorings inside
mashed potatoes; I’ve found nothing that beats garlic. Chicken’s been in for about a half hour
at this point, so I’m gonna check it. White meat is at 120 F. 40 degrees left to go. At
this point, I put some garlic powder on the breast. That tends to burn a bit if I put
it on right at the beginning. I also usually up the temperature a bit for this last stretch,
just to brown the skin. The potatoes are done when you can really
easily push a fork through them. I’ll go dump those in a colander in the sink. And
then in the same pot, I’ll melt some butter and then fry the garlic until it just starts
to go golden. Then I’ll put in maybe half a cup of milk and let that heat up. Potatoes
go back in, and I’ll just cover this up and pull it off the heat for now. After about 45 minutes in the oven, this chicken
is done. I like to pull it when the white meat is 160 F. The internal temp will probably
rise to 165 as it rests. 165 is what you’re supposed to hit for safety reasons. If you
need to be extra cautious, maybe cook it a few degrees more than I did here. Look at
that even color you get with convection heat. Alright, to make gravy, we gotta get the chicken
out of there. I rest it on a plate rather than a cutting board, you’ll see why in
a sec. Now check this out. Pre-cooking the bottom
of the chicken on the stovetop also gives you this incredible layer of fond with which
to make gravy. Also, roasting at such a high temperature means that most of the juice that
came out will have evaporated, so there’s no need run this through a gravy separator.
That is basically straight fat with which we can make roux to make our gravy. You could
use it all, but that would make way more gravy than I usually need for this meal. So I pour
like half of it off, and yes, I’m gonna pour straight into my potatoes. It’ll taste
amazing in there. I’m basically using it in place of some of the butter you’d normally
put in, thought that’s not gonna stop me from also putting in a bunch of butter too.
I’ll just cover that up and let the butter melt. Now I’m gonna turn the heat on medium under
this pan, and when it’s sizzling, I’ll whisk in just enough flour to make a thick
paste, and just cook that for a minute until I smell the flour going nutty. Then, you could just put in water or cartooned
stock, but yeah, I do like to start with a little white wine for sweetness. Whisk that
in, and then whisk in some water, too. And the color at first will not be appetizing.
Just give it some time. As you simmer this for 5 or 10 minutes, the little brown bits
floating around in there will dissolve and impart their color to the rest of the gravy.
Here’s the shallot from inside the chicken. You could throw it in to flavor the gravy
a little bit, or you could cut it up into little bits and throw those in. Here’s the lemon from inside the chicken.
If you don’t like lemony gravy, don’t squeeze this in, but sometimes I like it. Here’s why I rest the chicken on a plate.
A plate is really good at collecting all the juices that’ll come out of the bird as it
rests, and it makes it really easy to pour those back into the gravy where they belong. Alright, potatoes. I’ll grind in a ton of
pepper, and some in the gravy while I’m at it. And then start with one big pinch of
salt in the potatoes, then mash. I’m conservative with the milk up front, so that if the texture
is too stiff, I can just add a little more milk at this stage. You can’t take it away. Mashers are not good a mixing, so when it’s
all mashed up, I’ll switch to a rubber spatula to get everything evenly integrated and then
I can test for seasoning. Now I’ll just cover it and leave on the warm setting. Gravy is looking perfect at this stage, which
means it’s actually too thick, because it’ll thicken up a lot as it cools. So I’ll put
in a little more water, and hey, more juice has come out of the chicken. Test for seasoning.
That is done, unless you want to strain it to get the chunks out. I like the chunks. Peas. I do four cups of frozen peas in a microwave-safe
jug. If you can get high-quality fresh peas, great, but I usually can’t. I just cover
those in water and toss them in the microwave for a few minutes. That’s just enough time to carve the chicken.
First thing I do is tear the leg quarters off with my hands. They are so well-cooked
with this method that they just pull right off, like those grocery-store rotisserie chickens.
Then I cut the legs off the thighs. Rather than slicing the white meat off the
bird, I like to cut each breast off whole. This is easier and you get a cleaner cut if
you remove the wishbone before roasting, but honestly that’s kinda tricky and these days
I don’t think it’s worth it. Then I just tear off whatever bits are still
clinging to the carcass with my hands. That’ll be perfect for chicken pot pie later. Ooo,
there’s the oyster. Mine. Take a breast, cut off the wing (also mine). Then with the
breast off, it’s really easy to slice it up however you want it. It also makes it possible
to slice against the grain like this, though that doesn’t really matter with chicken
like it does with steak. When the water in the peas is boiling, you’re
good to strain them, then I put in a little butter and some salt and stir it around to
let the butter melt. Now, real quick, I’m just gonna warm my plates in the residual
heat of the oven. Just takes a minute. Those plates will actually reheat this chicken if
it’s gone cold while we rested and carved it. Plus these sides, that’s easily enough chicken
for four adults. I think the gravy is mostly for the potatoes,
though I do like a little bit on the white meat, too. Not that it needs it. Pre-cooking
the dark meat lets you cook that breast until it is just done, so it is really juicy. And check out this thigh. It pulls apart like
barbeque. This right here is why I think peas are the
best vegetable for this — they hitchhike on a forkful of mashed potatoes. Oh, remember
those scored legs? Look at all that extra surface area. It’s so well-browned, and
it’s so well-seasoned. It also pulls apart like barbeque because the scoring allowed
it to cook faster. I love those. Let’s see if I can get one fork with all
four elements on it at once. Yasssss. That sticky mash literally brings the whole dish
together. Look how glossy that gravy is. That’s from the chicken fat in the roux. It’s a
bit of work, but that is just a totally killer Sunday supper. Now, you may be thinking, what about that
technique where you roast the chicken breast-side down for the first half? Won’t that achieve
the same goal of giving the dark meat the head start that it needs? Well, I finally
tried that the other day. I’ll show you what happened in a minute. Thanks again to Skillshare for sponsoring
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I totally understand. The link is at the top of the description. Now, here’s what happened when I tried the
very popular roasting the chicken breast-side-down method, as documented on my Instagram stories.
Short version: It’s a pretty good method, but I think mine is way better. That looks real weird. Here comes the breast
side. OK, now I guess I try to brown the top. Still not great color. And it’s done. I
cook quite slowly and not like a fast, professional chef, who’s going bddddda. So I feel very
insecure about cooking on-camera right now without fast forward. It all tastes the same in the end. Yes it does. Alright. So, final verdict? I don’t know, we haven’t eaten it yet.
It was kinda harder to make than my method, and the color is definitely not as good. I’ll way that it was good. But your chicken
is really really good, and that one was just good. Awwww. Oh man.