Do your self and the chicken a favour and buy a free ranged chicken. They cost more yes, but your conscience and taste buds will be so much happier. They are bigger and meatier.
This old friend I inherited from my grandma. I love it. Cast iron pots are simply the best cook ware you can get. Never use soap, hot water salt and scrub. Look at guides how to take care of them.
Just dab your chicken dry out side and in. Don't rinse with water, you want to remove moisture on the surface not add. Sprinkle with salt and pepper in side.
Well this is not a charming posture for any bird. Stuff your chicken with parsley and apples if you got them. This will add taste and moisture to your chicken.
Tie your bird starting under the wings. Use cotton string.
Cross the string over the breast, and down under the thighs
Under the thighs.
Round the parson's nose, this way the rump will act as a flap door over the cavity in your chicken.
And round the end of the crossed chicken leg. This will keep your stuffing inside, and make it more juicy. Remove the string before serving.
Cut of the wing at the second joint from the tip. Save the wing tips and put them in your pot along with the chicken.
Brown your chicken on all sides in butter and oil. NEVER EVER !!!! use olive oil for frying. Olive oil is used to add taste and texture ONLY!! I'll make notes ⬇
Add chicken stock or water and milk/cream. You want the chicken to be half covered Add bay leafs, pepper corns,juniper berries if you feel like it. Start cooking the chicken breast side down.
I don't have a lid that fits so I use a baking sheet. Boil for 45 minutes on low heat.
After 45 minutes it is time to do some backstroke. Continue to cook under lid for 30-45 minutes.
Test to see if it is done by looking at the colour of the juice between the thigh and the breast. If clear its done, if pink continue to cook for 20 minutes and then test in the other thigh.
Lift the chicken and let it drip into the soon to be gravy. Place the chicken on a chopping board or on the lid. If it falls apart just pick the dropouts up.
Sieve the gravy
Gravy making time.
Add water or milk to the corn flour
Add half of the corn flour-water mix and bring to the boil. If the gravy is to thin add more. If it is to thick add some milk, this will dilute the taste, and can gravy be too thick?
Add salt and pepper taste and I like to add a few drops of lemon, not so you can taste the lemon but to bring out the flavour of the gravy. Taste again and if you are happy with the taste you are done
There are 5 tastes . Sweet, salt, bitter, sour and umami. Umami is the taste of protein. If you can get all 5 tastes into your dish you have a home run. Play around with these 5 in your cooking.
Cast iron will keep warm for long. So back with chicken, lid on, heat off and it will keep warm for at least 1/2 an hour. Serve with salad ,potatoes,your favoured veggie and instant pickled cucumber.