If you discard the chicken skin, where much of the fat resides, it’s pointless to rub the skin of a roast chicken with any seasonings, since they will just go to waste. However, you do want to season the chicken flesh (as well as the pan juices). The solution is to make a seasoning mixture that gets placed underneath the skin. Here, apricots, garlic, and rosemary are puréed and used as the under-skin seasoning mixture.
- ? cup dried apricots
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 broiler-fryer chicken (3 to 3½ pounds)
- 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the apricots, ¼ cup of the water, the sugar, ½ teaspoon of the rosemary, the garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Process to a puree.
2. Rub the inside of the chicken with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the remaining ½ teaspoon rosemary. With a fork, prick the lemon all over. Place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.
3. With your fingers, carefully separate the chicken skin from the flesh of the breast and smear the apricot puree over the flesh. Pat the skin back into place so it completely covers the apricot puree.
4. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thigh reads 180°F.
5. When the chicken is done, transfer to a carving board and let sit 15 minutes before carving.
6. Meanwhile, make the gravy: Add the remaining ½ cup water to the roasting pan and use a whisk to scrape up any browned bits clinging to the pan. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a gravy separator. Wait for the fat to rise to the top, then pour the degreased liquid into a small saucepan.
7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the flour. Whisk about 3 tablespoons of the degreased cooking juices into the flour, then scrape the slurry (flour and liquid mixture) back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the gravy is thickened and no raw floury taste remains, about 3 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 240 calories, 9g total fat (2g saturated), 101mg cholesterol, 1g dietary fiber, 7g carbohydrate, 33g protein, 390mg sodium.
A good source of: niacin, selenium, vitamin B6.
Also see 10 Fantastic Chicken Dishes.