I'm convinced that the perfect dinner is a roast chicken. But, not any roast chicken recipe will do... the recipe I have been using for the last four or five times I've made one has been from the Barefoot Contessa with some minor tweaks that I have made. For one we love roasted veggies at our house, so I've started roasting not only potatoes and carrots, but also parsnips and brussel sprouts. A caramelized sprout is a delicious treat! What I love about making roast chicken for dinner is that it is DELICIOUS and SIMPLE! Lately, I've been really busy and making a simple, easy to prepare dinner is exactly what I'm after. I've started to make this chicken once a week, and what is even better yet, leftover chicken for sandwiches or soup... or maybe even some chicken enchiladas! Yum...
Perfect Roast Chicken
from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook - serves 3 to 4
1 5 to 6 lb. roasting chicken
freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 T. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in the roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, the lemon quarters and all of the garlic. Lift up the skin from the breast of the chicken and rub some of the butter under the skin onto the breast and legs. Brush the outside of the chicken with the remaining butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips underneath the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
To roast vegetables with your chicken:
freshly ground pepper
1 bunch brussel sprouts, outer leaves cleaned and ends snipped
1 spanish onion, thickly sliced
3-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 baby yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, skin left on
Drizzle olive oil over all vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pepper, toss vegetables and place into roaster around the sides of the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours (or till a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees) until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 10 minutes.