The chicken you see above cost a little over $2. Not $2 per pound, not $2 per serving. Two dollars flat. It was about 4 pounds and was on sale at the local grocery store – I noticed all these old ladies leaving with a dozen birds, so I knew a good deal was on.
The beauty of roast chicken is that it does triple-duty. We had leftovers for two full meals and then boiled the leftover bones or whatever to make a delicious stock. Our leftovers are becoming tortilla chicken soup tomorrow.
Back to the roast chicken.
You can really do anything with this recipe, but I’ll include my adaptations to the original Ina Garten recipe.
1 whole roasting chicken, giblets and extra fat removed and stored for later (boil them in your chicken stock).
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut crosswise, or whatever you have on hand.
2 T butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots, cut into chunks
1 bulb fennel, cut into chunks
1-2 pounds of red or new potatoes, cut into chunks
Preheat oven to 425.
Rinse the chicken inside and out, pat dry. Remove any pin feathers. On the inside, liberally salt and pepper, then stuff with half the fresh thyme, all the lemon and garlic.
In a roasting pan (or large baking dish), combine the onions, carrot, fennel and potatoes (you could also add garlic – live dangerously!). Toss with salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil (you could add other herbs if you have them, and I used dried thyme). Spread the veggies in an even layer.
Now, tie the chicken’s legs together with twine and tucks its wings under its body. Brush it all over with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I also added paprika, for color and because my mom did. Use your gut instinct! Place the bird on top of the vegetables.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the thigh and the leg (mine was perfect after this time). Tent foil over the chicken for another 20 min. Remove the chicken to a platter and serve with the roasted vegetables and fennel fronds, for decoration.
You’ll notice that some of the veggies got nearly black. They are delicious! In fact, I kept all the “burned” pieces for myself – they were so caramelized that they stuck to my teeth with sweet, savory goodness.
To serve, plate up the chicken and vegetables and spoon over extra juices from the roasting pan. We had this with bread and a simple salad – ta da!
What a satisfying meal. As I hope you can see from the pictures, it is a feast for the eyes and the belly. One chicken feeds four people easily.
Now, if you don’t mind, I have to check on my chicken stock. Enjoy, friends! xoxo