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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Herb Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

There is no food I love more than a roast chicken.  I love the way it makes the house smell (sometimes for many days.)  I love how I don't need to stand over a stove while it cooks.  I love that I can hear it sizzle in the oven all the way from the living room.  I love the way it looks when it comes out of the oven...crispy brown guilt-inducing skin.  I love putting potatoes and carrots on the fork with every juicy bite.  Mostly I love how it makes me think of the Sabbath dinners at my Bubby's house every Friday night until I went off to college.  (That's a lot of roast chicken dinners.)  If I were able to choose my last meal on this earth, it would be a roast chicken dinner - and I attribute that to my Bubby and our countless Friday night dinners together.  (I miss you, Bubs.)  I may not get to eat this every Friday night any more, but this is the meal I long for and crave many-a-day.  Unfortunately, Jim is not a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but he allows me my comfort food and puts on a good face so I can enjoy it without feeling like I'm making him suffer.  So today I decided to do it up.  It finally feels like fall, and nothing says fall like a delicious herb roasted chicken atop some garlicky root vegetables.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

1 bunch of carrots, chopped into medium size pieces
5 red potatoes, chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 sweet potato, chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, sliced
8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 lb whole chicken, insides removed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used rosemary, sage, and thyme)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion, peeled
1 lemon, halved

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Throw the first ten ingredients into a roasting pan and combine well.  Take your chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.  Stuff the cavity with the garlic, onion, and lemon.  Combine the oil, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper and rub it all over the chicken.  Then place it breast-side up on a rack on top of your vegetables in the roasting pan and put the pan in your oven.

I didn't have kitchen twine to truss the chicken.  So instead of the drumsticks being held to the body with string, I cut slits in the skin and tucked the legs in as shown above to ensure even cooking.

After 30 minutes, take the pan out quickly and close the oven door.  Remove the rack to a plate so you can mix the vegetables.  Flip the chicken over (carefully) and put everything back in the oven.  After another 20 minutes, take out the chicken again.  You should be able to remove the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.  If the veggies aren't done yet, just check them in another ten minutes.

Before you put the chicken back in the oven though, first use two fork to flip it over so it can brown and crisp on the other side.  Cook the chicken for an additional 30 minutes.  Then lower the oven to 425 degrees, flip the chicken over again and cook for another 30-45 minutes until cooked through.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before cutting so that its juices can redistribute and you end up with juicy meat.

At this point, my natural light was almost completely gone.  I would have loved to get a picture of the carved up bird with the veggies, but....sigh...first world problems.  I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family did.

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