Chicken Roasted in Bay Leaves

Photo: Jan Smith

Placing bay leaves in the chicken cavity infuses the bird with a subtle herbed aroma as it roasts.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat and about 1/4 cup gravy)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 306
  • Calories from fat: 36%
  • Fat: 12.3g
  • Saturated fat: 4.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g
  • Protein: 37.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.5g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 117mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 704mg
  • Calcium: 33mg

Ingredients

  • Chicken:
  • 1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 bay leaves
  • 4 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • Gravy:
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Place 8 bay leaves under loosened skin; place remaining 8 bay leaves in cavity.
  3. Tie ends of the legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place celery, carrot, and onion in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables.
  4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Using tongs or insulated rubber gloves, remove chicken from pan, tilting slightly to drain juices. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve.
  6. To prepare gravy, place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour brandy into bag; add drippings from pan. Let stand 2 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
  7. Return vegetables to pan. Add brandy mixture, broth, and cream to pan; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon; discard. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry; add slurry and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thick.
  8. Remove skin from chicken, and discard. Discard bay leaves. Carve chicken, and serve with gravy.
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