Pan Sauce Thoughts image

I make roast chicken fairly often these days, because it’s a solid protein that I can use in a bunch of different ways. Leftovers are basically the only way I can imagine surviving the AIP regimen — otherwise, I’d be cooking serious food at every single meal and sometimes one just wants a bowl of granola level effort when it comes to breakfast or lunch. Or dinner, for that matter, although I suppose we’d call it take-out at dinner!

So chicken — can be eaten plain, hot or cold, put on a salad, mixed with various ingredients to be sort of a chicken salad (no mayo, so it never feels like real chicken salad to me), used in soup, mixed with cooked veggies as stir-fry, loads of options. And yet… chicken is kind of boring, especially when you’re not breading it, adding barbecue sauce, or frying it. Even my stir fries seem bland since I can’t use soy sauce. (Fish sauce — while similar and a useful discovery — adds too much saltiness to be equivalent.)

Anyway, last time I made roast chicken, I decided to try chicken gravy. It was … interesting. I understand why people don’t make chicken gravy very often. It’s fattier than turkey gravy or beef gravy. I suppose southerners are actually notorious for chicken gravy on biscuits, but I’m not a real southerner, so I’ve never even tried that.

This time, I decided to make sort of a combo — part pan sauce, part gravy. A pan sauce would usually be made with chicken broth, not the chicken drippings from the roast chicken, so with this pan sauce/gravy, I used chicken drippings, added white wine vinegar and capers, cooked it down a ton and then added arrowroot powder to thicken it up.

It requires more experimentation. But the general concept — pan sauce over roast chicken slices, is excellent. Next time the right approach might be to try a couple tablespoons of the drippings for the flavor, water, and balsamic, cooked down a ton.

Meanwhile the roast chicken strategy that I tried last night was the chicken rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic salt, in a 400 degree oven, cook for 30 minutes, then turn, then cook for another 45 minutes. The turning wasn’t worth the effort — the bottom skin still wound up soggy. Someday I’m going to figure out how to make a perfect roast chicken without a lot of effort (my favorite answer used to be pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but that no longer works for me, alas) but my roast chicken also still requires experimentation.

Why post experiments? Because the last five times I’ve made roast chicken I’ve tried something different and now I can’t remember anymore what I’ve tried or not. ARGH! So writing down the experiments is how I’m going to find the answers. It’s the scientific method of cooking.