I’m kicking off with my Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken I made last weekend, who doesn’t love some good comfort food for a weekend of chilly spring weather? I got a 5.5 lb. free-range chicken, raised by the local Sage Creek hutterite colony, roasted it with all the vegetables, and the day after I did a pot of homemade chicken stock with the leftover carcass and pieces. The next day I made a pot of Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Dumplings, using the stock, and had my family over for dinner. I love that you can make it last about a week and get a lot out of it. So good!
Easy Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
5-6 lb. roasting chicken
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 large yellow onion, halved. cut one half in half again, thickly slice other half for roast veg
1 bunch fresh thyme
handful of fresh parsley
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp
Vegetables for tossing in:
4-6 large carrots, cut 1″ pieces
1 bulb fennel, tops and core removed, then halved and sliced thickly
whole garlic cloves, from 1 whole head, no need to peel
6-7 red potatoes, halve small ones, quarter large ones
Preheat oven to 400 deg.
Keep half the herb bunches whole, finely chop the other half. Mix the chopped herbs into the softened butter. Remove chicken giblets and rinse the bird inside and out, remove any leftover fat or pin feathers. Pat dry with paper towels. Season outside and inside cavity with s + p. Stuff the cavity with the whole sprigs of thyme and parsley, lemon pieces, garlic, and onion half pieces. Brush or rub the outside of the chicken with the herb butter, work your fingers between the skin and breasts and rub the butter under skin. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings under. Season the outside w/ s + p again.
Toss vegetables in a large bowl with enough olive oil to coat, season with s + p. Spread around in the roasting pan and place the chicken on top (breast-side up). Lay any remaining whole sprigs of thyme on top of veg.
Roast for approximately 1 1/2 hours, basting every 20-30 minutes. You can tell that it’s done when the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 deg F, the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh, and the legs can be wiggled and moved easily. When done, take the chicken out of the pan and place on a platter or cutting board, let rest 15 min. covered with foil. Serve with the delicious vegetables and bon appetit!
While roasting, if the pan drippings and veg start getting too brown and crisp, add a little liquid to the pan. (If you loaded it with vegetables to roast in there like I did, you won’t have this problem). The roasted vegetables got to be super caramelized and sweet, my hubby loved it that way!!
Here’s a pic of my first roasted chicken I did, a while ago. Pretty delicious for my first one! Pic of this one is better too…
***What I will try the next time: I roasted my potatoes on a separate sheet pan this time, but next time will toss in the roasting pan with the rest of the vegetables and chicken. Try 375 deg. for first 1/2 hour, then up to 425 deg., til the breast meat reaches 160 degrees, and thigh meat reaches 165-170 (about 45-ish min. longer?). Baste after the first half hour.
Well there you have it folks! It will be great for me to refer back to this post next time I go to make this again, and hopefully some of you who stumble upon this recipe will be inspired and can get some use out of it! It’s really pretty easy, and after you do it a couple times then you can whip out a big, special, comforting roast chicken dinner in no time 🙂 Cheers!