The other night I was out to dinner with Mr. Braun, and he asked me what kind of foods I cooked for my family on a regular basis. I thought for a minute and decided the quintessential food that everyone loves is a crispy roast chicken, served with gravy.
“With crispy skin?” he asked with bated breath. And I replied yes, of course. Whereupon he asked me to please send my recipe to his wife, Mrs. Braun, who is an organic devotee mother of lots of kids and would be extremely upset if Mr. Braun ever brought any nonorganic food into her house. In other words, my kind of woman!
The truth is not only is this chicken a family favorite because it tastes absolutely delicious, but also because nothing could be easier. In fact, the hardest thing is not doing anything to it! Honestly, I can’t understand two things: 1) Why anyone would want to eat a piece of chicken that doesn’t have crispy skin surrounding it, and 2) why anyone would make it seem so hard. Roast chicken with crispy skin is one of the simplest, easiest things that can ever be made. You only really need three things: An oven, a whole organic chicken with skin, and a roasting pan that can go from oven to stovetop (for the gravy!). I have a stainless steel roasting pan, but you can also use a cast-iron pan. You’ll also need a bit of flour, water, and salt for the gravy. But that’s it! Nothing more. No fussing!
Chicken with Crispy Skin
- 1 organic chicken
- Turn on the oven to 375 degrees.
- Put the chicken in the roasting pan breast-side up (don’t laugh, someone in my house did put the chicken breast-side down once, and it was a serious error in crispy skinness!).
- Cook for about an hour or two, depending on the size of the chicken. DO NOT BASTE!
- How can you tell if it’s done? Well, the leg will be a little jiggly and easy to pull on, the juices will run clear if it happens to be stabbed with a fork, and the skin looks good and crispy!
And now for the gravy…
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Take the chicken out of the pan and put it on a serving dish (make sure to tilt the chicken as you move it so all the juices from inside pour out into the pan).
- Put the pan on top of the stove and turn the burner heat to high.
- Put the flour in the measuring cup (or any cup), add the water, and stir until smooth, and then add it to the drippings.
- Scrape the pan and stir until the gravy is thick…literally, about 1 minute.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Our favorite accompaniment is brown rice. So put the rice on right after you put the chicken in and they will both be done around the same time.
- After you are done eating the chicken, the carcass makes a great chicken broth base. Just put it in a saucepan, cover the carcass with water, and add salt and boil for an hour or two. Strain and you now have homemade broth—which tastes better than anything store-bought, and you have now made it for free.
- My favorite leftovers? Take a good crusty piece of whole wheat bread and toast it. Then microwave some of the leftover chicken pieces and gravy and pour over the toast, and DEVOUR.