I'm excited to share this classic recipe today! I know there are countless recipes for roast chicken floating around the internets, but this one is special because it's Ina Garten's! I've made this roast chicken many times and it always comes out perfect. I play around with the flavoring a little here and there but I always use her method, which is very straight forward and simple. Whenever I make this, my husband oohs and aahs over it- little does he know that it takes me the same amount of effort to throw together a casserole. Win, win. If you don't have a roasting pan, don't fret, just use a glass baking dish like I did here (you can place the glass baking dish on a cookie sheet if you are worried about drippings). I also recommend playing around with the root vegetable combinations you use: carrots, potatoes, onions (a must), a bulb of fennel, turnips, golden beets, etc. In the pictures, I've used carrots and onion because that is what I had on hand. Enjoy!
Recipe (8 servings):
1 5-6 pound roasting chicken (I've used smaller chickens in the past and just decreased the cooking times and ingredient amounts slightly)
Freshly ground black pepper (in addition to the salt and pepper, I like to use a little Lawry's season salt to season the bird)
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1/2 a head of garlic
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots, cut into 2 in chunks
3-4 small to medium potatoes, cut into cubes similar in size to the carrots (remember, you can sub in a different vegetable for the potatoes if you like)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place onions, carrots and the other vegetables you are using in a roasting pan (or in my case a glass baking dish). Toss with salt, pepper, 15 thyme sprigs (the rest will be stuffed in the cavity of the chicken) and a glug of olive oil, about a heaping tablespoon. Spread around the bottom of the pan to make a bed for the chicken. Set aside.
Rinse chicken inside and out. Remove giblets, if any, from the cavity. Most chickens, I've found come w/o them. Pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, the rest of your thyme, and all the garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (this is optional). Place your chicken atop your bed of vegetables, making sure to tuck the wing tips under the cavity of the bird. Pour melted butter over the whole bird, use a brush to spread it around.
Sprinkle outside of chicken with salt, pepper and Lawry's (if using). Make sure you are thorough in covering the whole chicken, but do so with a light hand.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Use a meat thermometer and place it in the thickest part of the breast to check the temperature, as well. When it registers between 160-165 degrees it should be done. If the juices are still not running clear, though, leave it in for another 3-5 minutes then check it again. When done, remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter, tent with foil and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving with the vegetables.
images by Briana