Buttered Broiled Chicken With Sherry
|Flour||1 Teaspoon (Heaping)|
|Canned sliced mushrooms||6 1⁄2 Ounce (1 Medium Sized Can)|
|Butter||1⁄4 Pound, warmed to room temperature|
|Fryer chicken||2 Large, cut into half for broiling (Plump, Young)|
|Onions||2 Small, sliced paper thin|
|Sherry||1 Pint (Adjust Quantity As Needed)|
Wash the chickens and clean off all the pinfeathers.
Salt and pepper liberally inside and out, seasoning well under the wings, and rubbing the salt into the meat thoroughly.
Pile the chicken halves on top of one another with onion slices liberally sprinkled sandwich style between the pieces, so that all sides come in contact with the onion, and wrap in waxed paper.
Let stand for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.
Then rub the chicken halves with soft butter, covering thoroughly, wing tips and legs especially.
Next place the buttered chicken, skin side up, in a deep broiling or baking pan, tucking all the onion slices underneath the chicken, along with the gizzards and livers. (Be sure to put the necks in too; they help to flavor the sauce.)
Broil the chicken halves under a rather slow flame until golden brown.
Then remove the pan from the broiler, turn the halves over, and place them so that the cavities are as level as possible to hold the filling and sauce.
Fill the cavities with mushrooms (save the mushroom water in a jar for later use), a large piece of butter, and sherry.
Put a few small pieces of the onion into each cavity too, but allow most of the onion, along with the giblets, to stay in the sauce below.
Then put the pan into a slow oven about 300° is best, or even as slow as 250°, if you have plenty of time.
The more slowly the chicken bakes, the better it will be.
However, if you are late and must rush the cooking, 375° won't ruin the dish at all, if you baste it often.
At 250° to 300° you don't have to watch the chicken, except for giving it a slight basting every 1/2 hour or so.
As a matter of fact, Lelande Lacoste explained: "I just put it in a very slow oven and go to church, and when I come home from Mass it's ready just like that!" Jesse always likes to baste the broilers a bit, especially if the chickens are on the small side, and he also adds a bit more sherry by degrees as the sauce cooks down, splashing the wine into the cavities, over the mushrooms.
Just before he removes the chicken from the oven he puts a heaping teaspoonful of flour into a mayonnaise jar, in which he has kept his mushroom liquor, and shakes the jar vigorously until liquor and flour are blended well a good trick for gravy thickening, in case you don't already know it! He then pours the mixture into the broiling pan to thicken slightly the piquant sauce that goes beautifully over fluffy rice.
If you've had the oven at 3000, the chicken will have turned a shade darker than golden brown in about 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours, and you will know that it is tender, well cooked completely through, with absolutely no bloody joints, and juicier than any other broiled fowl you'll ever put in your own or your family's mouths.
It should be served on a platter or on individual plates, mushroom side up, with generous spoonings of the butter sherry sauce over all and a bit of lettuce, lemon slice, tomato ring, or the like for color.
The gravy from such cooking is copious and should accompany the chicken and rice in a bowl or gravy boat.