Sometimes I wish I could eat a roast bird and mashed potatoes and gravy for every meal. Most times, I just want somebody to pour gravy all over everything I eat. This chicken-stock gravy is pretty straightforward (just the pan drippings deglazed with chicken stock and thickened with cornstarch), but it’s spiked with a little soy sauce for extra umami and Dijon mustard to give it a little kick. And, oh yeah, alongside the gravy, there’s, like, a juicy roast chicken with an amazing bounty of citrus. There’s also a nontraditional but super delicious mashed sweet- and russet-potato dish with a ribbon of toasted nuts and seeds and fried shallots running through it. And there’s also a righteous green bean salad with a lemony yogurt sauce. And all of these are full of things that make you feel alive. Like gravy!
You can just season this chicken and put it in the oven (I don’t waste time trussing), and make the sides while it cooks. About an hour later you have a magnificent roast chicken dinner. And you also have bones to make stock to use for gravy the next time you roast a chicken!
Green Bean Salad
Food52 Dynamite Chicken
by Tyler Kord
1. Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the chicken in a roasting pan. Zest the citrus in a small mixing bowl, add the oil, salt, shallot, rosemary, and chili powder, and stir together. Rub the zesty spiced oil all over the whole chicken. Cut the zested fruit into wedges, toss it with the thyme, and stuff it in the cavity of the chicken. Roast the chicken for an hour and 15 minutes (the internal temperature should be about 165°F/75°C). If the skin isn’t dark enough for your liking, turn on the broiler and get it a little darker.
2. While the chicken is cooking, make the green bean salad: Fill a pot with water, add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until they are the way you like them. I prefer mine to be pretty well cooked, which takes 6 to 8 minutes; for crunchier beans, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. While the beans are cooking, in a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, shallot, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Drain the beans and immediately toss them with the dressing. This salad is great at room temperature or even cold, so don’t worry about trying to keep it warm.
3. To make the mashed potatoes, put the russet potatoes and sweet potato in a pot and add water to just barely cover them. Over high heat, bring the water up to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until both the russet potatoes and sweet potato are tender, about 10 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, put the nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan and toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Put the nut and seed mixture into a food processor, add the fried shallots and salt, and process until well chopped and pastelike. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and put in a mixing bowl. Add the nut paste, butter, and milk and mash with a potato masher until everything looks integrated and happy—chunky or smooth to your preference.
4. When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven and transfer it to a tray or chopping board to rest.
5. To make the gravy, put the roasting pan on the stove and, without removing any of the liquid from the pan, pour in 1 cup of the stock, turn the heat to medium high, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any crispy, caramelized bits. Pour the contents of the roasting pan into a small saucepan and add the shallot, soy sauce, mustard, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1 cup stock and then add the slurry to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking the whole time, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the shallot halves (do not throw them out—those are for you to eat because you have earned some gravy-poached shallots in your life) and put the gravy in one of those awesome gravy boats.
6. Carve the chicken into 10 pieces as you would break down a chicken, and serve it with the gravy and sides, saying thanks to whatever god or gods created gravy.
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