One Roast Chicken, Two Delicious Dinners

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Another roast chicken recipe? I can hear the groans already, but trust me on this one. Folks, it is worth sharing.

I made this recently; the chicken was juicy, flavorful and low stress. And then, without even washing the pot, I made a delicious Chinese-style chicken soup the following day. Here’s the scoop:

Roast Chicken

Serves four with leftovers for soup and/or chicken salad

Roasting the chicken on a rack inside a covered pot enabled even cooking and retention of moisture. Removing the lid for the final hour produced the brown, crispy skin emblematic of a perfectly roasted bird without the risk of drying out the meat.

If you want to make this a one-pot meal, simply add some carrots, yams and potatoes in the second phase of cooking — when you remove the lid. Delicious!

For brining step:

  • 1 roasting chicken, 5-7 pounds
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon each: garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, sugar, black pepper
  • For roasting step:
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup whiskey
  • ¼ cup water

In a large ovenproof pot with a cover (I used Le Creuset), place all the brine ingredients plus the chicken. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse the chicken and the pot.

Place a cooking rack inside the pot (I used a silicon rack). Place the bird on top of the rack and insert the quartered onion and chopped garlic inside the cavity. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Pour whiskey and water into the bottom of the pot (do not pour it over the bird or it will rinse off the salt and pepper.) Cover the pot and roast for an hour.

After an hour, remove the cover and continue roasting until the chicken is done. The cooking time will vary; generally it requires about 2 hours, but the precise time is 20 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Let the chicken rest, covered, for about 5 minutes, then carve and serve, leaving the drippings in the pan for soup.

Chinese Chicken Soup

Serves four to six

After you have enjoyed the delicious roast chicken above, remove most of the meat from the bones and set it aside. Do not remove the carcass or drippings from the pot — the beauty of these two recipes is minimal cleanup. Simply pull the cooking rack out of the bottom, scraping off any skin or brown bits back into the pan.

The base for your soup is ready to go; it can be refrigerated for a couple of days before you make the soup.

For the broth:

  • 1 chicken carcass with drippings (see above)
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon each black pepper, thyme and rosemary

For the soup:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1½ cups cooked chicken, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup snow peas, cut in thirds
  • ¾ cup thinly cut carrot coins
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice or noodles, if desired
  • To serve: chopped fresh cilantro and scallions

Add all the broth ingredients to the pot and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 2-4 hours until the broth is well flavored.

Strain the broth and discard the solids; if you made more than 8 cups, reserve the extra for future use.

Place the broth back in the pot with the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 30 minutes.