“A wish sandwich is the kind of sandwich where you have two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat.” -- Elwood Blues
So, DH paraphrased a Blues Brother when I served Hot Chicken Sandwiches. At first, I thought he meant he wished we were having something else for dinner.
My thinking was that this dinner was a wholesome hearty throwback to classic diner food and a good solution to the dilemma of how to serve roast chicken to kids who (I thought) loved gravy on an activity-packed winter weeknight. Well, it was, darn it. And I’ll stand by that.
Really, when one hits the door at 6:45 on an evening in the low 30s, isn’t it nice to have something that heats up in about 10 minutes, about the amount of time it takes to cook a pot of broccoli?
Here’s what you do (and you can do it on a Sunday or even a weeknight before):
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put an under 3.5 pound chicken in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet. Rub the skin with a tablespoon of butter or canola oil. Sprinkle sea salt over the bird. Cut a peeled small onion in half and put it in the cavity. Roast for about an hour. About 20 minutes in, pour ½ cup water over the bird. Take its temperature with an instant-read thermometer – the deepest part of the thigh should register at least 165 degrees.
2) When you take the chicken out of the oven, use a sturdy meat fork to tilt the juices out of the cavity. Let rest 10 minutes, then remove chicken to cutting board (I put the board in a rimmed baking sheet to keep juices from dripping onto the counter).
3) While the chicken continues to rest, make the gravy. Make a slurry of two tablespoons of flour in ½ to a whole cup of water (depending on how much liquid is in the bottom of the skillet). Add this to the skillet and cook over medium heat, scraping up the bits and stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until thickened.
4) Slice the chicken, cool, and refrigerate. Refrigerate the gravy separately.
5) When ready for dinner, heat gravy first in the 10-inch skillet until hot. Add chicken slices and warm through gently over medium-low heat.
6) Serve meat and gravy over bread slices, open-faced.