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Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Gravy

Serves 4 to 6

This is roasted chicken the way my grandmother made it. As is typical of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, very little seasoning is added. All of the flavor comes from the chicken and vegetables. It is, basically, a one pot meal. However, on special occasions or large family gatherings, Mammy would have served more side dishes, especially some of the traditional 'sweets and sours' or seasonal produce. Adjust the amount of vegetables as needed for the desired amount of servings.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 450° F. Pat the chicken inside and out with paper towels to dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Add the 1/2 small onion and celery. Rub the outside all over with the butter. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken and vegetables. Surround the chicken with the cut vegetables. Season them with salt and pepper and drizzle with the melted butter. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue to roast until an internal temperature of 170° in the thickest part of the thigh, about 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices or a little water.

Place the chicken on a cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the vegetables in a serving bowl and keep warm. (If the vegetables are not quite tender, return them to the oven in an ovenproof pan and let them roast while the chicken is resting.)

Meanwhile, make the gravy. Place the roasting pan on a burner over high heat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Reduce to a simmer. Mix together the flour and enough water to make a thick paste. Gradually whisk the paste into the simmering broth. Continue to add paste and whisk vigorously until gravy is the desired thickness. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the vegetables, passing the gravy separately.