School is in session, pumpkin foods and drinks are being served...I don't want to jinx things, but with all of that plus overcast mornings and cool evenings, it feels like Fall is creeping in. One can at least hope! I've been fighting the urge to nest and decorate the house ever since September 1st, but sometimes you just have to indulge.
To me, a roasted chicken is a year round meal. Change out the vegetable to suit the season, serve it up with different sides or as is~either way, you have a winning dish that makes everyone happy. This recipe is courtesy of the ever wonderful Jenny Steffens Hobick, and though I made a few minor adjustments that I will include here*, it is a simple and delicious one pot dinner.
1 whole chicken
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 lemon, quartered
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sea salt
2 teaspoons of cracked pepper
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound of small potatoes, quartered
1 red onion, quartered
Begin by cleaning your chicken. Your butcher can do this for you, or your can prepare it yourself at home. Make sure it's completely thawed if frozen prior to cooking, remove anything stuffed into the cavities, and wash your chicken thoroughly in cool water. Pat it dry then sprinkle salt and pepper into the cavity as well as atop the chicken.
Place the chicken in a medium roasting pan or casserole dish. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the head of garlic, 2 pieces of lemon, and thyme. Place the sliced carrots, potatoes and onions around the chicken. Squeeze the 2 remaining lemon wedges over the chicken and vegetables, and place them in the pan with the vegetables. Next, drizzle olive oil over the entire chicken and all of the vegetables. Roast, uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the chicken). Bigger birds will require more time in the oven.
Serve directly in the roasting pan, or put it on a pretty platter with the vegetables surrounding the chicken. Be sure to spoon the juice that accumulated in the bottom of the pan over the chicken and vegetables when serving
*My oven is an older model and cantankerous on a good day. I noticed after an hour that the chicken wasn't done and the skin still fairly light. We enjoy a golden, crispy skin, so I turned the temperature up to 425 and let it cook for the remaining 30 minutes. It came out perfectly! People often ask how you can tell if a chicken is done and here are two ways. One way is to use a meat thermometer, which you stick into the thickest part of the leg. If the internal temperature rises to 165 degrees and the juices run clear if cut between the leg and breast, your chicken is done. Another method~and this is my daughter's favorite~is to wiggle one of the chicken legs. If it moves easily, your chicken is done.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and my tips, as much as I and my children did. It was easy to put together, made the house smell amazing, and as it was all in one pot, easy clean up as well. So easy in fact, I did a little extra indulging as everything roasted in the oven.
Now what are you waiting for? Go grab a chicken and pour yourself a glass of wine. You'll be glad you did. Cheers!