I really don’t know what got into me last weekend but somehow I got it in my mind that I was going to roast a chicken. I don’t particularly like chicken (unless it’s doctored up with some great sauce or something) but I’ve never roasted a chicken and I was suddenly determined to do it.
I’ve come across a some recipes over the past few months that just looked so mouth wateringly good. Like this one, for instance, that is self basting with bacon and yummy potatoes. Then there was this one with a unique, creamy looking milk reduction. In the end, since this is my first chicken, I decided to go with this recipe for a basic roasted chicken with vegetables.
I didn’t have anything big enough AND oven safe to roast a chicken in so I ended up purchasing this roasting pan for only $9. Now, roasting pans can cost upwards of $60 each but my mom used one almost identical to this during my entire childhood and I’m sure it’s still going strong. Plus, it came with a lid – BONUS!
Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
The grocery store only had HUGE chickens (we’re talking 8 lbs and more) but most recipes I found were for 3-4 lb. chickens. So, I ended up having to cook my chicken for about 2.5 hours before it got up to the safe temperature of 160 degrees F. So, if you have a smaller chicke, just scale back accordingly. A 3-4 lb. chicken will take about 1.5 hours to cook but ALWAYS use a thermometer to verify (stick it down in the deep spot between the breast and leg).
To figure out how big of a bird you need to feed your crew, you’ll want 1.5 lbs. of bird per person. This doesn’t mean 1.5 lbs. of meat, this is meat, bone, skin and all.
- 1 (8 lb.) chicken $7.96
- 1 lb. carrots $0.78
- 1.5 lbs. red potatoes $1.38
- 3 med. turnips $1.54
- 1 med. onion $0.67
- 1 med. sweet potato $0.79
- 1 whole bulb garlic $0.50
- 2 med. lemons $0.64
- 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.50
- 2 tsp dried thyme, divided $0.10
- to taste salt and pepper $0.10
- Allow the chicken to thaw, if frozen. Remove the neck and gizzards from inside of the body cavity and rinse the whole chicken well, inside and out. Allow the chicken to sit and come to room temperature as you prepare the vegetables.
- Wash, peel and chop the vegetables into large chunks. The lemons can be quartered but not peeled. The garlic bulb can be broken up into individual cloves but does not need to be peeled (easy!). Simply remove any extra papery outside bits.
- Place all of the vegetables, half of the garlic cloves and half of the lemon pieces in the roasting pan (the rest of the garlic and lemon will be stuffed inside of the chicken). Drizzle 3 Tbsp of olive oil over the vegetables along with 1 tsp of thyme and some salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables until they are well coated.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle half a tsp. of dried thyme inside the cavity of the chicken then stuff with the remaining pieces of lemon and garlic. Nestle the chicken down in the vegetables. If the surface of the chicken is still wet, dry it with a paper towel so the oil and seasoning will adhere to the skin. Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the chicken and smear it all over the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp of thyme, salt and pepper.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast at 425 for 45 minutes. At that point, remove it from the oven, stir the vegetables, reduce the heat in the oven to 375 and roast for another 45 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven again and check the temperature of the chicken by placing a meat thermometer deep in the crevasse between the chicken breast and leg. If the chicken is not up to 160 degrees, roast for an additional 45 minutes or until 160 F. Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes prior to carving to let the juices redistribute.
Since this was my first chicken and I am by no means a pro carver, here is a video on how to carve a chicken. Good luck!
Step By Step Photos
Here is my HUGE chicken. Event though it’s wrapped up tight in plastic, it WILL still leak chicken juice all over your refrigerator. So, place it in some sort of dish.
Pull the neck and gizzards out of the cavity (aka “big scary hole”). Some people save these to make things with later but I’m not that far along yet. Give the chicken a very good rinse inside and out.
This is my new roasting pan. I get really excited when I buy new kitchen ware because I know it will be with me forever. FOREVER.
While your chicken is hanging out in the sink and getting up to room temp, prepare your vegetables. I decided to go with a root vegetable theme so I bought carrots, potatoes, turnips, sweet potato and onion. You will also need a head of garlic and some lemons.
These turnips are beautiful so I had to take a picture. Plus, they always remind me of Super Mario Bros 2… remember that? pulling the turnips out of the ground? Anyway, turnips need to be peeled, fyi.
and the garlic DOESN’T need to be peeled… it will roast right in it’s skin. Then you can squeeze it out with your fingers later. It’s SO DELICIOUS.
Place all of the vegetables (and half the garlic and lemon) in the roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss till it’s all coated.
Now, go back to the chicken, sprinkle a little thyme inside the cavity (BIG SCARY HOLE) then stuff it with the remaining garlic and lemon pieces. Then, nestle the chicken down into the vegetables, smear oil over the skin and sprinkle more thyme, salt and pepper on top.
Place the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven and roast for 45 minutes. The high heat in the beginning helps get the skin browning and crisping. This is my chicken after the first 45 minutes. Stir the vegetables before putting it back in the oven.
Reduce the heat to 375 and roast for another 45 minutes. If you have a smaller bird, it may be up to 160 degrees by this time. Mine was only at 140 so I put it in for another 45.
FINALLY, this big honker of a bird was up to a safe temperature. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes so the juices redistribute throughout the meat. Plus, it will be impossible to carve if it’s too hot.
Serve this with some fresh, home made bread and a little side salad and you have a five star dinner!
The dish was certainly impressive but since I’m not a straight-up chicken loving type of person, I’m not sure it was worth cleaning out the “big scary hole” for me. Luckily, I’m resourceful and I turned about half of my left over chicken into some insanely delicious jambalaya this afternoon…. recipe to come soon!
The vegetables on the other hand… OH MY! Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite things on earth to begin with but when they’re covered in chicken fat and steeped with lemon, garlic and thyme they are not of this world. Really really amazing!