Technique for super chicken-y roast chicken pan gravy

Lately I have been obsessed with nailing down the perfect (for my palate) pan gravy to go with roasted chicken. I've found that butterflying a kosher chicken and roasting at high heat yields a really juicy bird, and it also leaves me with the back/neck to throw into the pan for a chickeny-er pan sauce. I am wondering, though, if I should brown the back/neck in some of the chicken fat before deglazing (I usually use homemade stock), or if I should just throw it in after deglazing and simmer it with the deglazing liquid. I tried the former tonight and the pan was so hot from the oven that the fond in it almost burned while I was browning the back/neck. Is it sufficient to deglaze and then simmer the bones in the deglazing liquid? Wondering how to get the maximum yield in chicken flavor without getting a burnt flavor from overcooking the fond. Any other pan-gravy tips are welcome.

Kristen W.


Kristen W. May 23, 2012
Makes sense, Benny. Sounds like either way, browning the bones in a separate pan is the way to go. Dunno why I didn't think of that...
Benny May 22, 2012
So, you are afraid to brown the bones in the same pan you roasted the chicken in? You can deglaze the roasting pan with your stock, meanwhile, brown the bones on the stovetop in a new pan and deglaze again with wine, stock, aromatics, etc.. again. Proceed as normal.
Kristen W. May 21, 2012
Thanks so much for the suggestion -- I will definitely try this!
Reiney May 21, 2012
I'd recommend making a short stock with your existing chicken stock - well, basically, you can make a chicken demi-glace.

Right after you've butterflied the bird, brown the backs/necks in a separate pan. If desired, you can brown off some more carrots/onion/celery, toast some tomato paste (you can also add a T of flour at this point) and deglaze all this with white (or red) wine. Put this in a pan with your existing chicken stock and simmer down until you're ready to strain into the pan sauces.

Optional parts of this suggestion are the extra mirepoix, tomato paste, flour and wine - this is all just going to make your stock richer. You can just brown off the bones. In any case I'd do it well ahead of your chicken coming out of the oven, it needs a good 30+ minutes to extract the flavour & gelatin.
Kristen W. May 20, 2012
You know, I just realized that this question originally came about for me on a night when I didn't have any homemade stock handy and was using the backbone to intensify store-bought broth. Maybe the extra bones are unnecessary when using homemade stock? Wondering about the best way to proceed,though, in either case.
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