Thanks to his childhood influence, Williams champions the excellence of simple cooking. This dish received our highest rating. All you need to make this a complete meal is a green vegetable and dinner rolls.
1 (4-pound) roasting chicken
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 oregano sprigs
1 lemon, quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 pounds medium yellow onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
Lemon wedges (optional)
Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; rub under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Place oregano, quartered lemon, and celery into body cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with string. Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, butter, onions, and potatoes in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Arrange onion mixture around chicken on rack. Place rack in pan. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove pan from oven); bake an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes or until onions and potatoes are tender and a thermometer inserted into meaty part of chicken thigh registers 180°. Set chicken, onions, and potatoes aside; cover and keep warm.
Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Combine flour and 1/2 cup broth in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and remaining broth to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until gravy thickens, stirring frequently with a whisk. Serve gravy with chicken and onion mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges and oregano sprigs, if desired.