Chicken and Vegetables with Gravy

I honestly don’t know what to call this. I wanted to call it Clean Out the Vegetable Drawer…and Chicken, but decided that, while descriptive, it was just a wee bit long. This is one of those recipes where, if you don’t have something, you just substitute something else, or skip it entirely. If I hadn’t wanted gravy, I could have just done this on a sheet pan, but I wanted gravy.

It’s a whopping 12 degrees Celsius here and it’s been either threatening rain or raining all day. It definitely called for a warming supper rather than the Greek salad and barbequed chicken I had in my head all day (oh well).

I literally just grabbed stuff that was left over from last nights’ supper (which was nachos using bell peppers instead of chips), some mushrooms and some chicken. Threw in some spices and bam! Supper!

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • ¾ of an onion, chopped (I used what I had left over in the fridge, feel free to use more or less)
  • 6 really big mushrooms, chopped (the mushrooms I used covered quite a bit of my palm)
  • 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth or bouillon
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (the kind the pizza restaurant gives you to put on your pizza)
  • garlic – I used garlic confit I made last week and because it was cooked and mellow, I used about 7 cloves
  • parsley – if you have it – if you don’t, you won’t miss it – don’t make a trip to the garden or store for any

Put everything in a Dutch oven or a deep baking dish and bake at 375F until the chicken is done. Mine took about 45 minutes. I did not put a lid on it because I wanted the liquid to cook down a bit.

I also baked two sweet potatoes along with this, just cleaned, holes poked in them and placed on the oven rack beside the Dutch oven. When the main dish was ready, so were the sweet potatoes. You could use regular potatoes or not bother at all. You could also cook rice or pasta, if you wish.

Note: If you are going to bake sweet potatoes or potatoes in the oven like this, don’t forget to poke at least one hole in each one. One time I did not and when I touched one of the potatoes, it exploded like a little potato grenade. There wasn’t a lot of force, fortunately, but I did have to clean the entire oven. 🙂

When I took the chicken and vegetables out of the oven, I scooped all of the chicken and vegetables out of the pan and put them into a bowl and made gravy in the pan. Because my chicken was frozen and there were so many vegetables, I didn’t lose any of the broth I started with and may have actually ended up with a bit more than I had to begin with.

I set the pan on the stove, cranked on the burner and brought it up to a boil. I turned the heat down a bit (medium high) just to keep it boiling but not violently, then I added about ¼ cup of flour and whisked like a maniac. I let it boil a minute to check to see how thick it would get. It wasn’t quite what I wanted so I added another ¼ cup of flour and whisked like crazy again and that was about as thick as I wanted it. I then, because I had lumps, poured the gravy through a mesh strainer into a bowl.

You could mix in a separate bowl a quarter cup of flour and enough of the cooking liquid to make a loose paste – this would get rid of the lump problem I had. When you pour this in, you just mix it in and let it boil a minute to gauge thickness. If the gravy isn’t thick enough, scoop another 1/4 cup of flour into the bowl, add some cooking liquid again to get a loose paste. Add about half of your mixture this time, and let it bubble a minute to gauge thickness. Add the rest if you need to.

Once the gravy (if you’re using) is done, yell “Food” really loud. It startles the horde and makes me snicker.

Skip the gravy if you’re keto or low carb or make it with an approved flour. Add some kale or spinach to the mix and take down the amount of peppers. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower could all be added, as well. Add some rosemary or thyme or whatever spice makes you happy.

Clean out that vegetable drawer and put them in your belly instead of the compost bin!

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