How to cook chicken for maximum gravy?
I want to have waffles with chicken & gravy for dinner. I have a whole 3 1/2 lb. chicken. I don't need the skin to be brown or crispy since I will only be using the meat. (I know I'll need to add extra (canned) stock/broth or even a bullion cube or two--Belgian waffles soak up a lot!) Should I cut bird up and simmer? Blast-roast it and then remove meat and simmer bones? I'd like maximum chicken flavor in the broth before I turn it into gravy.
Thanks very much!
I'd cut up the pieces and pan roast, to get those yummy drippings, then simmer the bones in some chicken broth. I think the drippings add A LOT of flavor.
Here's what I'd do: remove the meat from the bones first, then slowly brown the bones in a little oil using a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed saucepan. I'd whisk in some flour and cook that over low heat with the bones until about the color of a copper penny (essentially making a roux) then add broth or water and bouillion and seasonings.
I'd let it gently simmer until reduced to whatever thickness you want THEN add the raw cubed or chopped chicken and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. You'll have a lot of flavor.
don't forget the value of the rendered chicken fat in the gravy. you might consider throwing some extra wings into the mix if you want more gravy than usually results from a 3.5 lb fryer. i'd roast the pieces, deglaze the pan with white wine and then run the liquid thru a separator.
save the fat and the meat. add the bones--and any extra roasted wings you might have used to a pot of boxed stock and maybe some water--along with the deglazing liquid, onions, carrots, celery and your favorite herbs--perhaps thyme and sage. simmer.
later, start the gravy roux with the reserved fat, adding enuf butter to deliver the desired volume of thickened gravy.
Cook it in a plastic cooking bag or tightly covered dish/corning ware. If you do not have any of the items mentioned.....cover tightly with foil. Make sure you include your aromatics.
If you have a slow cooker, use it. Cook the chicken on low for 4-5 hours. You'll get at least a cup if not more of very rich chicken broth, perfect for gravy. If you want add a half-cup of water before you start cooking--it'll dilute the broth a bit but it should still be good.