I’m cheating this week. I actually made this Sunday, but it is too good not to share! This recipe has been in my folder for several years. I really should make it more often than I do. It’s super easy and super good for you. It’s also an impressive-looking dish. The one-pot aspect makes it perfect for company. (In fact, I have made it several times for dinner parties!) I also like using whole chickens because it gives everyone his or her favorite kind of meat. My preference is dark meat, but I find that most people prefer white meat. And, a bonus is that you can then use the discarded carcass for some awesome homemade chicken stock! (If you’re really being resourceful, save the peels from all the veggies you use in this recipe to add to the stock, too!)
I mentioned yesterday that Hubby and I are attempting to organize our lives this year. One example of our reorganization is advanced meal planning. Now, I also mentioned that I’m pretty good about dinner prep, but we’ve been lacking in our breakfast and snack selections. We usually have leftovers for lunch (Hubby brown bags it everyday!), but there are the occasional nights when I’m not feeling up to my original plan or maybe I forgot to thaw a key ingredient (that doesn’t happen to anyone else, does it?!). On these *rare* (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) occasions, we’ll grab a pizza or one of our other take-out favorites (Malaya or Hankook), and there are not always leftovers. Hubby then either scrounges for lunch, which usually turns into him skipping it altogether, or he picks up another favorite: Chick-fil-A (Oh so delicious, but the #1 is not especially good for the waistline). While at Costco last weekend, we picked up lots of healthy snack options for him and also decided to grab one of their 2-packs of organic whole chickens. This way, we could have something on hand in case our menu changed over the course of the week. Since it rained all. freakin’. weekend., I decided to make this recipe, so that Hubby wouldn’t have to stand over the Big Green Egg with an umbrella (that has definitely happened before).
This is also a great recipe to use up whatever you have in the fridge. It calls for sage and thyme, but any herbs would be delicious. Any vegetables you have that you would normally roast would also be great! This time, my onion was rather large, so I ended up using only half for the cavity; I spread the other half with the other veggies around the chicken. Delicious! I couldn’t find celery root this time (if you haven’t tried it before, please give it a go!), so my picks were turnips, parsnips, and some old carrots. You could easily use baby carrots to save on the prep time. I’ve used sweet potatoes and regular potatoes before, too. I considered throwing in some Brussels sprouts, but they were earmarked for another dinner, so I stopped myself. My point is: use whatever sounds good! Have I sufficiently talked-up this recipe? 😉
(Via Eating Well)
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme sprigs, divided
- 2 lemons, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 4- to 4 1/2-pound chicken
- 4 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 medium turnips, peeled (see Tip) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 celeriac roots (1 1/2-2 pounds total), peeled (see Tip) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400ºF.
- Chop 8 sage leaves and place in a bowl with 2 teaspoons thyme leaves. Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon into the bowl. Add garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix well. Set aside.
- Pierce the remaining lemon all over with a sharp fork. Cram the lemon, onion and the remaining sage and thyme into the chicken cavity.
- Place the chicken breast-side up on a cutting board. Use your hands to gently loosen the skin covering the breast, thighs and the top end of the drumsticks. Smear the lemon-herb mixture under the skin, covering as much of the meat as possible.
- Toss carrots, turnips and celeriac in a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper until well coated.
- Place the chicken breast-side up in a large roasting pan (but not on a rack). Scatter the vegetables around the chicken. Bake, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
- Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the vegetables from the roasting pan to a serving dish with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the fat as possible. Serve the chicken with the vegetables.
I have a good size round Le Creuset (thanks to my MIL) that is perfect for this dish! Best part: oven-to-table, and it’s festive enough for company! I also use the probe setting on my oven. Do y’all have this option? It’s pretty great! Hubby usually cooks the big pieces of meat on the Egg, so I don’t pride myself on being a great judge of “doneness.” (Apparently, “doneness” isn’t a word 😉 ) We’ve tried several different kitchen thermometers, but I must have a knack at breaking them! So far, though, the probe has worked well for me. On my oven, I preheat to the desired temperature. Then, I go into the options and select probe cooking. I then have the option to select the temperature at which the meat should be considered done AND the temperature at which I want it to cook. Insert one end of the probe into the port in the oven and the other end into the meat. Then, just wait for the oven to beep and tell you “probe cooking end.” Easy peasy! No fooling with a hot oven and hot piece of meat trying to get an accurate read!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the finished chicken before Hubby cut into it, so all I have is a picture of my favorite part: the leg with a spread of yummy veggies!
Remember when I said sometimes plans change and we MAY pick up a pizza instead? Well, my plan was to cook this Sunday evening for dinner and then have the leftovers available for Hubby for the week. But, our grocery trip was delayed, and there was no way I could prep AND cook in time for dinner. (The only downside to this meal is the cook time.) So, we picked up Fellini’s, and I made the chicken AFTER we ate dinner. It cooked while Munchkin had bath and story time, and Hubby was able to prep his salad for lunch the next day before bed. Not what we had planned, but it ended up just fine!
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