I used to think that it was necessary to do all kinds of prep work to a bird to make it juicy and tasty. I have discovered that my favorite roast chicken recipe is embarrassingly simple, and it translates well to turkey, too.
This is a high temperature recipe. It is much faster than slow roasting, and I think the results are much better. The skin gets crispy and all the fat melts away, flowing through the meat for a very juicy bird.
Preheat oven to 500. Remove gizzards from chicken and place chicken in a cast iron skillet. You can use a roasting pan or whatever you have, but I find the iron skillet to be the easiest. Stick a meat thermometer in the chicken if you have one. Put the chicken in the oven and cook until the inside of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. I check mine after 30 minutes and go from there. Cooking time will depend on the size of the bird.
When your chicken has reached temperature, remove it to a plate or serving platter, flipping it over to let the juices run through the meat. Let rest for 10 minutes or until ready to eat.
Place the hot iron skillet on a hot burner and pour in 2 cups stock to deglaze. Scrape the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to simmer and let the stock recue by half. You can add another 2 cups stock and reduce again if you want richer gravy and have the patience. Add milk, stir vigorously with a fork or whisk while returning to a simmer or near simmer – the goal is to blend the grease and the other juices. Add flour (I use one or two tablespoons), stirring vigorously to remove lumps. Reduce heat. Stir occasionally until thickened to desired consistency.
I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and whatever vegetable is handy and easy. Salad works great. This time I am going to serve it with rice instead of potatoes, since I don’t have any potatoes and don’t feel like going to the store. The gravy will go fine on the rice.