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La Deliziosa Vita

Fall classics: Simply roasted skillet chicken two ways

Rustic, simple skillet-roasted chicken with stuffing makes the perfect weeknight meal. Photo: Susan Dyer Renolds

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp air, the aroma of spices like cinnamon and sage, and the impending holidays (though I could do without seeing Halloween decorations at Target in July). It’s also a busy time, so here are two of my favorite skillet chicken recipes — both are simple to prepare and using just one pan makes cleanup a snap.

Add a quick salad or a green vegetable on the side and you not only have a balanced weeknight meal but also a downsized Thanksgiving dinner.

Note: I usually make my own gravy from scratch; however, because these recipes are meant for simple, weeknight meals, I recommend a packaged starter mix called Better Than Gravy. You can find it in the gravy isle of most grocery stores and it is far superior to less expensive gravy mixes.

SKILLET CHICKEN WITH HERB DRESSING

Serves 4

  • 1 whole roasting chicken (I prefer organic air-chilled)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, divided (you can substitute olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped and divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped and divided
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 cups bread cubes (I use ciabatta)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 package Better Than Gravy chicken gravy mix

Preheat oven to 375.

Dry chicken with paper towels. Gently separate skin from breast with your fingers and rub 1 tablespoon of butter and half the herbs under the skin. Rub the outside with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Melt the remaining butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in other half of herbs. Turn off the heat and nestle the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast-side up. Tuck the bread cubes all around the chicken. Roast the chicken until a quick read thermometer reads 175 in the chicken thigh, about 90 minutes.

Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Drizzle one-half cup of broth over the dressing in the skillet and stir over low heat until well combined and warm.

Remove dressing to bowl.

Add remaining cup of chicken broth to skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add package of Better Than Gravy mix and stir until well combined, making sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom.
Slice the chicken and serve with a helping of dressing. Drizzle gravy over plate and serve with side salad or green vegetable.

CRISPY SKILLET-ROASTED CHICKEN AND POTATOES

Serves 4

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 4
 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
  • 2
 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2
 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in half
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced in half
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange potatoes in single layer and fry until brown. Flip potatoes, cover skillet, and cook until other sides are brown.
Combine remaining oil, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and carefully separate skin from breast with your fingers. Rub oil mixture all over chicken and underneath skin.

Nestle carrots and onions flat side down around potatoes. Place chicken, breast-side up, on top of vegetables and transfer skillet to oven. Roast the chicken until a quick-read thermometer reads 175 in the chicken thigh, about 90 minutes.

Transfer chicken to carving board and vegetables to bowl. Tent both loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Add chicken broth to skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add package of Better Than Gravy mix and stir until well combined, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Carve chicken and serve with potatoes, carrots, and onions drizzled with gravy. Add a side salad or green vegetable if desired.

 

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