Fragrant and juicy.
Some foods just enthrall the senses and draw you in with their enticing aroma. And some foods just make you think of home and family, comfort and security.
Roast chicken with a rich and flavorful gravy and warm and inviting chicken noodle soup are two foods I couldn’t live without! Both evoke wonderful memories for me and are recipes I turn to many times during the year.
Both are easy to master and a joy to serve. Once you add them to your repertoire, you will come back to them again and again!
Kitchen Princess Roast Chicken – Ingredients
Golden brown and crispy Roast Chicken.
- 1 roasting chicken or fryer about 4 – 5 pounds. I only buy organic, hormone-free chicken.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into 3 or 4 big peices
- 1 stalk celery, chopped into about 3 or 4 pieces
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried herbs – thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon or any combination you like. Fresh herbs are wonderful too if you have them.
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 4 cups organic chicken broth (2 cans or 1 box)
- 1/4 cup Wondra Flour for Sauce and Gravy (comes in a canister in the baking aisle)
Kitchen Princess Roast Chicken – Method
- Take your chicken out of the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before roasting to bring to room temperature. This will insure even cooking. Discard the pop-up thermometer if there is one.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and dry the chicken, inside and out. Use lots of paper towels to dry the chicken and remember to thoroughly wash all surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken. Remove the bag of giblets from inside the bird and refrigerate or freeze for the soup.
- Place chicken, breast side up, in a greased roasting pan. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Put the onion and other vegetables inside the chicken along with the bay leaves, herbs and garlic. Tuck the wing tips under the body. If you have kitchen twine, you can tie the legs together. For a crispier skin, rub softened butter all over the chicken. Pour a cup or two of chicken broth into the roasting pan.
- Place chicken in the oven and let it roast for about 20-30 minutes.
- Now it’s time to baste. You don’t have to baste but I like to. Open the oven door and baste the chicken all around. If the pan is looking dry, add a little more broth.
- Continue roasting and basting every 15 minutes or so until the chicken is done. The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 190 and in the breast registers 180. You can also tell if it’s done if you stick a sharp knife into the thigh and the juices run clear with no touch of pink. Total cooking time should be anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. By now your house will smell heavenly and your chicken should be brown and crispy.
- Remove chicken from the oven, take it out of the roasting pan, place on a platter and tent with foil to let the juices settle.
- You can put a lemon cut in half inside the chicken instead of the vegetables. You can also scatter some sliced onions, sliced carrots and potatoes around the chicken while it cooks.
- The reason I take the pop up timer out is first, they usually don’t work and second, by the time they pop the chicken will be overcooked and dry.
Kitchen Princess Chicken Gravy
You may have your preferred method for making gravy and if so, go ahead and do that but I’ve found this to be easy and foolproof. If you’ve never made gravy before, please give this a try as it is so easy and so much better and tastier than canned gravy.
- Put the roasting pan on the stove. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, you’ll want to take a spoon and skim some of that off. You want some fat but not more than a couple of tablespoons. Remove any black burned bits from the pan. Add the second can of broth, put the heat on medium and stir up all the brown bits.
- Mix about 1/4 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup of water and mix together to make a slurry.
- Whisk it into the broth and keep whisking till smooth. As you continue cooking the gravy, it will thicken but if it’s not thick enough feel free to add a bit more flour and water. If it gets lumpy, put it through a sieve and it will be fine. If there is any juice that has collected under the chicken on the platter, add that in to the gravy.
- Or, heat the fat in the bottom of the pan. Add the flour ( at a ratio of 1 tablespoon flour to 1 tablespoon fat) and stir and cook for a couple of minutes till golden. Then add the next can of chicken broth whisking as you go. It will thicken as it cooks. Feel free to add herbs or salt and pepper to taste.
Now it’s time to carve your chicken, pour on the gravy and enjoy, just save some of that gravy because that’s my secret ingredient in the soup!
Kitchen Princess Chicken Noodle Soup
Put the chicken frame, vegetables, spices and water in a big dutch oven or stock pot.
Try to keep the size of your chopped vegetables uniform. Cabbage, carrots, turnips, celery and onions.
Kitchen Princess Chicken Noodle Soup – Ingredients
- 1 chicken frame from your roast chicken or 1 rotisserie chicken plus wings, backs, necks, gizzards, etc. about 3 pounds total
- 4 large carrots, peeled
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 medium onions
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley
- 1/2 green cabbage
- 2 small turnips
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and dried sage
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- water to cover chicken
- 4 cups canned organic chicken broth
- leftover gravy
- 1/2 pound cooked pasta
- chopped fresh parsley
Kitchen Princess Chicken Noodle Soup – Method
- Put the chicken frame in a big pot. The ideal is to have a leftover chicken frame that still has some meat on it. If there is a lot of meat left, cut off what you can, chop it and set it aside. You can also use a rotisserie chicken that you have removed most of the meat from because you will add it back at the end.
- Don’t throw away the chicken skin! Add it to the soup! It adds so much flavor and don’t worry, you are going to skim all the fat off the top. You can also start your soup with raw chicken pieces like backs and wings and necks, etc.
- Cover the chicken with water. Add the 4 cups of chicken broth. Cut 2 of your carrots into a few big pieces, do the same with the celery and add to the pot. If your celery has leaves, all the better. Cut one of the onions into quarters and add to the pot. Add the bay leaves, sage, thyme and pepper to the pot. You will add salt later after it has cooked down. Roughly chop the parsley and add that too.
- Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to low so that it is simmering rather that boiling. Put the lid on partially and let it simmer for about 3 hours. Your house will smell delicious! Check on it from time to time and give it a stir. If it’s cooked down too much you can always add more chicken broth.
- While it’s cooking, chop the remaining carrots, celery, turnips and onions into small pieces and set aside. Slice the cabbage thinly and chop into bite size pieces.
- Over the 3 hours the broth will cook down and intensify in flavor. Turn off the heat and remove all the bones and vegetables to a colander over a large bowl. Let it cool till you can handle it. Save as much of the meat as you can and set aside.
- Discard the cooked vegetables and bones. Now, you could stop right here if you wanted to make homemade chicken stock. Just cool the broth, put in containers, label and freeze.
- Put the broth that’s in the bowl back in the pot. Put the chopped vegetables into the broth. Bring the soup back to a boil and let the vegetables cook for about 15-30 minutes.
- Now, add whatever reserved chopped cooked chicken you have.
- My secret weapon and the ingredient that takes this soup way beyond ordinary is the leftover gravy! If you happen to have any put it in. It adds a depth of flavor that is remarkable. Your soup won’t be clear but it will be wonderful!
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh parsley.
- Cook up some noodles or pasta – I like to use orzo, a small pasta that looks like an overgrown grain of rice but any kind of pasta is fine. If you use spaghetti or linguine, break the noodles in half. I keep the noodles separate from the soup or the noodles will tend to absorb a lot of the broth and get soggy.
To serve, put some warm pasta in each bowl, ladle on some soup and enjoy!
- Grate a little parmesan cheese on your soup for some added zing. My Italian husband adds a splash of red wine which really takes it to a new level! You can substitute vegetables if you like. Leeks, green beans, corn, all would work well in this soup.
- I use my Immersion Blender to partially emulsify the soup when the vegetables are cooked but before I add back the meat. I pulse it 3 or 4 times.