Trifecta Chicken – Need A Hand

“Need A Hand” recipes are for folks who need a bit of help in the kitchen.

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Trifecta Chicken

Need A Hand

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
  • 7 medium yellow onions
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 head celery
  • 9 medium carrots
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley stems included
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP Whole black peppercorns
  • Crushed black pepper using a pepper mill / grinder
  • 1.5 Cups long grain white rice
  • Water

Instructions

To start, begin prep work.

  • Do not peel but open the garlic and break into cloves.
  • Cut the base from the celery head and reserve.
  • Thoroughly rinse celery stalks, including the little tiny pieces in the center.
  • Dry larger celery stalks and trim the leafy parts off (the larger stalks only).
  • These can remain wet.
  • Rinse the carrots and dry them.
  • Rinse the fresh parsley and set aside.
  • Try not to crush the leaves of the parsley when rinsing.
  • Do not peel, but quarter 2 medium and 1 small onions.
  • Cut 2 large celery stalks each into four big chunks.
  • Cut 1 smaller celery stalk into two big chunks, leaves are ok.
  • Cut 2 large carrots each into four big chunks.
  • Pick 2 parsley stems and remove most of the leaves.
  • Set the leaves aside and set the stems aside too, separately.

Prepare the Roasted Chicken:

  • Preheat oven to 425° F.
  • Get out a 12” or 14” cast iron skillet at least 2 inches deep.
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet use a 13”x9” baking pan or a Dutch oven.
  • TIP: don’t use a cookie sheet, the juices will overflow.
  • Place the 2 medium quartered onion into the above pan.
  • Evenly space them in a single layer, cut side up/skin side down.
  • Add 5 unpeeled garlic cloves to the pan.
  • Add the cut-up large celery pieces and all but 2 pieces of the cut-up carrots to the pan.
  • Evenly space them around the onions and garlic in a single layer.
  • Place the pan near the kitchen sink.

Prepare the Giblets Pot (yup, we’re using the giblets):

  • Get out a medium saucepan.
  • Place the small quartered onion, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, the cut-up smaller celery stalk (including any leaves), and 2 pieces of the cut carrot into the medium saucepan.
  • Add 1 tsp Kosher salt, ¼ tsp crushed black pepper, 1 bay leaf and the parsley stem.
  • Place the saucepan near the kitchen sink.

Prepare the chicken:

  • In the sink, using a sharp knife or scissors, open the chicken packaging.
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the packaging and remove the neck, and giblets, typically in a separate bag in the packaging.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the inner packaging and place in the prepared medium saucepan.
  • Remove the chicken from the packaging, discarding any padding and juices.
  • Place the chicken, breast side up on top of the vegetables in prepared roasting pan.
  • If you prefer, you can rinse your chicken, but if you do so, please pat it dry with paper towels, inside and out.
  • Tuck the wings under the chicken carefully.
  • Generously salt and pepper the outside of the chicken.

Back to the Giblets Pot:

  • Cover the giblets, neck, and vegetables with cold water.
  • Set pot on stove over lowest heat.
  • Be sure to use an appropriate size burner for the size of the pot (i.e. a small burner for a smaller pot).
  • If you have a low flame/small burner, please use that, and set to the lowest setting.
  • This will continue to cook while the chicken roasts.

Roast the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken pan in the oven on the middle shelf.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 425° F.
  • Open the oven and turn the halfway around to evenly cook the other side of the chicken.
  • I don’t know about your stove, but most don’t cook evenly front to back/left to right.
  • Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, depending on the weight of your chicken.
  • If 4 pounds or so, cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, if 5 pounds or so, cook 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving. (LINK TO: Glossary: Rest)

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the Rice for the soup:

  • Follow the instructions for the jasmine rice in the instant pot* recipe on this webpage, however use the 1.5 Cups long grain white rice but do not rinse the rise.
  • If you do not have an instant pot cook the rice following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Once the rice is cooked, carefully spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool on kitchen counter.
  • Once fully cooled move to a storage container or zip top bag and place in the refrigerator for use later in the soup.
  • *Wash the instant pot for later use.

Preparing the chicken for carving:

  • Don’t remove the chicken from the pan unless you are using a glass baking dish.
  • Carve the chicken in the pan, allowing the juices to run into the pan.
  • There are plenty of great how-to videos of how to carve, I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here… yet…
  • Remove the breasts, the wings, and the thighs.
  • Set aside the meat to serve as the main course of a meal.
  • Turn the chicken over and get all the little bits of meat everywhere.
  • Set aside for the chicken and rice soup.

Preparing the gravy:

  • Remove the chicken carcass, vegetable pieces, and vegetables from the pan and place into a stock pot or 8 quart (or larger) instant pot.
  • Add 1 Cup of the simmering giblets broth to the pan.
  • Deglaze pan with broth.
  • If you did not use the cast iron pan for the roast chicken, transfer the drippings from the roasting pan to a small saucepan, otherwise, continue with the drippings and broth in the cast iron pan.
  • Set cast iron or saucepan to the stovetop and simmer over medium high heat.
  • Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  • If more gravy is needed than what is in the pan, add up to 1 additional Cup of giblets broth.
  • If you prefer, or did not use the giblets, use 1 Cup previously made chicken stock.
  • Adjust seasoning, by adding more salt and black pepper, a tiny bit at a time, until the flavor is where you like it.
  • Mix 2 TBSP water with 2 TBSP cornstarch in a jar with a lid, shaking well.
  • Add cornstarch water mixture to the pan 1 tsp at a time.
  • Whisk well and allow to cook for 1 minute between each tsp.
  • Transfer to a gravy boat, or other serving tool.

Select one of the following ways to prepare the stock, see note:

  • Note: this part of the recipe is best used in an 8 quart instant pot. A 6 quart can be used; however, an 8 quart is best. If an 8 quart instant pot is unavailable please consider using the stovetop method.

Preparing the stock (stovetop method):

  • Add chicken carcass, vegetables from roasting pan, remaining giblet broth and all contents of giblet saucepan to stockpot.
  • Add 2 TBSP peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, 2 stems of parsley, with all leaves.
  • Add 2 onions quartered, 1.5 carrots quartered, remaining leafy celery hearts, 4 garlic cloves.
  • Cover with 10 Cups cold water.
  • Set to cook over high heat.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn to a simmer, and allow to cook for 5-10 hours.
  • The longer the better (more flavor).

Preparing the stock (8 quart instant pot instant pot version):

  • Add chicken carcass, vegetables from roasting pan, remaining giblet broth and all contents of giblet saucepan to stockpot.
  • Add 2 TBSP peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, 2 stems of parsley, with all leaves.
  • Add 2 onions quartered, 1.5 carrots quartered, remaining leafy celery hearts, 4 garlic cloves.
  • Cover with cold water until max fill line is reached in an 8 quart instant pot.
  • It’s ok if the veggies and or carcass float over the line a little.
  • Close the lid and set to high pressure cook for 45 minutes.
  • Allow a full natural pressure release, by allowing all the steam to slowly seep out of the instant pot over time.
  • Avoid doing a quick pressure release.

Prepping the soup:

  • While the stock is cooking, prep the soup.
  • Chop remaining celery, carrots, onions into ½ inch pieces and place in a bowl.
  • Set aside.
  • Chop garlic finely, add to bowl of celery, carrots, and onions.
  • Pick parsley leaves off stems and chop finely into ¼ Cup and add to bowl of vegetables above.
  • Add 2 bay leaves to this bowl.
  • Chop the leftover chicken into ½ inch pieces and set aside in a SEPARATE bowl or storage container/zip top bag and place chicken in refrigerator.

Finishing the stock:

  • Once the stock is done cooking, it’s time to very carefully strain the stock from the vegetables and other contents in the pot.
  • Place a colander into another large pot or, a big heat resistant bowl, like glass or heavy plastic or the like.
  • Place the colander/pot/bowl into the kitchen sink and ladle the stock from the cooking pot into the colander/pot/bowl until the large pot/heat resistant bowl is full.
  • Then remove the colander and place the contents of the colander into a double or triple lined trash bag (without holes).
  • If necessary, get another large pot or, a big heat resistant bowl, like glass or heavy plastic or the like and strain into that, repeating the steps above.
  • Once all the stock is strained, and contents of the colander is emptied into the trash, allow to cool and place in storage containers, except for 5 Cups, for soup.

Select one of the following ways to prepare the soup, see note:

  • Note: this part of the recipe is best used in an 3-8 quart instant pot.
  • If an instant pot is unavailable, please use the stovetop method.

Cooking the soup (stovetop version):

  • Add 5 Cups of the stock and the bowl of vegetables from prepping the soup into a large pot.
  • Add ½ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp fresh ground pepper to the pot.
  • Set the pot to the stove on medium-high heat for 45-60 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  • Remove from heat and add cooled rice and chopped chicken to the pot.
  • Stir well.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve.

Cooking the soup (instant pot version):

  • Add 5 Cups of the stock and the bowl of vegetables from prepping the soup into the instant pot.
  • Add ½ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp fresh ground pepper to the pot.
  • Set instant pot to high pressure and 2 minutes cook time.
  • Allow to natural release for 5 minutes.
  • Once depressurized, add cooled rice and chopped chicken to the pot.
  • Stir well.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve.

Notes

Serving suggestions:
Serve roasted chicken with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes 
Refrigerate leftovers immediately.
Notes:
Trifecta Chicken: 1 Roasted Chicken, broken down into 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings. We’ll make gravy and then the carcass is used to make stock. Then some of the stock and any leftover meat is used to make chicken and rice soup. 3 meals into one easy to follow recipe. Winner-winner chicken dinner x3 = Trifecta!

Don’t need the extra help? See my “Confidence” version of this recipe.