Classic Roast Chicken on a Bed of Vegetables

Classic Roast Chicken

Roasted chicken…exciting stuff, huh???

…not so much?

Yeah, that’s how I felt for a long time.

Who can blame us, roast chicken has become such a common, “normal” dish, and it can be hard to appreciate something so ubiquitous.

It’s time to rekindle the love for roasted chicken, because when done right, it results in very flavorful, plump, juicy meat, and when you stick the chicken on top of a bunch of your favorite vegetables, those get flavored by the juices of the chicken, and vice versa.

It really is a party where all ingredients exchange flavors to create something spectacularly delicious.

The first thing you want to start with is lots of aromatics, because we all know that a lot of sensed “flavor” really comes from smells.

Classic Roasted Chicken
Cut up all the potatoes, leeks, carrots, and whatever other vegetables you’d like (parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, etc) and make a fancy little bed for the chicken in a 9×13 baking dish:

Roasted Chicken

Season the chicken all over and inside the cavity with lots of salt and pepper, then stuff the cavity with sage, lemon, garlic, and the leek tops.

Truss the chicken (Chef Thomas Keller has an excellent video on how to do it), and place on top of the vegetables.

How to Roast a Chicken

Then it’s ready to be roasted! About an hour later you’ve got a complete meal:

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Here’s the recipe:

Classic Roast Chicken on a Bed of Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb chicken, at room temperature
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 stem of sage
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Cut the carrots and red potatoes into large chunks. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek, setting aside the dark green parts for later. Toss the sliced leeks, carrots, and potatoes all together and season generously with salt, pepper, and the olive oil. Place in a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Dry the chicken very well with a paper towel, then season the inside of the bird cavity with salt and pepper, as well as all over the outside of the bird. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic, sage, and reserved leek tops.
  4. Truss the chicken and place the chicken on the bed of vegetables. Roast at 475 for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400, and continue cooking for approximately 45 more minutes (this time varies slightly depending on bird size). I roast the chicken until it reads 160 degrees F on a thermometer.
  5. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes for the juices to redistribute, then serve!
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