Roasted Chicken with Winter Vegetables and Jus
3-5 pound chicken
freshly ground black pepper
10-ounce package fresh brussel sprouts, sliced in half
2 cups baby carrots
6 shallots, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
For Pan Sauce or Jus:
3/4 cup dry wine, red or white (depending on what you are drinking)
3/4 cup light chicken broth
Nice but not necessary tools available at any half-decent grocery store:
Quick read thermometer (less than $10)
Gravy Separator (looks like a measuring cup with spout attached at bottom, $7)
Heat oven to 400F. Remove neck and giblets from cavity, discard giblets, reserve the neck. Rinse and pat dry chicken; place breast side down on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut along either side of backbone, from tail to neck. Place neck and back bone in roasting pan.
Firmly, but gently, press down to flatten chicken. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place chicken, cut side down, on top of bones in roasting pan.
In large bowl, add brussel sprouts, carrots, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange vegetables around chicken. Roast in oven for 50 minutes.
Remove chicken, check the thickest part of the breast meat (avoid the bone) with quick read thermometer; it should read at least 160F. Let the bird rest for 5 minutes, it will be hot. Remove leg/thigh piece and wings; place on small baking sheet. Return legs and wings to oven for 10-15 minutes, until temperature reaches at least 180F.
Meanwhile, remove vegetables from roasting pan, keep warm with breast.
To make a sauce or jus
In the same roasting pan, heat 3/4 cup of red wine and 3/4 cup of chicken stock over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, gently scrape up browned bits. Let simmer 5 minutes. Strain into gravy separator. Pour jus into small pitcher, avoiding the fat on top. Keep warm.
When ready to serve, remove dark meat from oven, let rest while slicing breast meat into four serving pieces, removing as many bones as easily possible. Slice leg from thigh, if desired. Place on warm platter, surround with vegetables. So good with couscous. Pour the jus...and the wine. Cheers.