I roast a whole chicken once or twice a month.  It’s crazy easy, and I’m always left with enough chicken for at least one night of leftovers.  Because some days, this unbored housewife just needs to serve leftovers.  Seriously, I just prepared an amazing meal last night!  You need to eat again already??

Sorry, I’m talking to myself again.

Back to the chicken.  If you add veggies to your roasting pan, it’s a complete meal, and seriously yummy.  My kids always fuss over who gets the biggest piece of that gorgeously golden brown, crispy and flavorful chicken skin.

chicken skin

Mmmmmm.

Here’s how to make it.

Start with a whole chicken, and remove and discard the bag of giblets that sometimes comes stuffed in the bird’s cavity.  Now pull out and discard the plastic pop-up timer.  Those things are fairly useless.

pop up timer

Next grab this stuff:

this stuff

Those are a few handfuls of baby potatoes, baby carrots, one Vidalia (or sweet) onion, fresh garlic and a parsnip.  If you’re unfamiliar with parsnips, get to know them.  They’re like a carrot, only sweeter, and they’re delicious when roasted.  Of course, you can use more than one parsnip – I recommend it, in fact.  But I only had one of these babies lingering in my produce drawer.  Simply guesstimate how many veggies you’ll need to roast based on how many mouths you’ll have to feed.

Now grab some fresh rosemary and thyme.  I snipped this straight from my little backyard garden.

rosemary and thyme

If you don’t have fresh herbs, go ahead and use dried.  I won’t judge.

Now rinse your baby potatoes and carrots and throw them into a bowl.  Quarter your onion and throw that in, too.  Then peel four garlic cloves and crush them just a bit to release their aroma.  Peel your parsnip (just like a carrot) and cut it into smallish chunks.  Throw it all into your bowl and grab this:

lemon olive oil

If you don’t have lemony olive oil, grab regular extra virgin olive oil.  Drizzle the oil on top of your veggies, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

s&p to taste

Now toss it all to coat well.

Next place your chicken into a large roasting pan (I use a Pyrex pan) and drizzle the chicken with olive oil.  Halve a fresh lemon.  If you’re using regular extra virgin olive oil, squeeze one-half of the lemon on top of the bird.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper.  Now stuff both lemon halves into the cavity.

lemon into cavity

Arrange your veggies around your bird, and pour the oil at the bottom of the bowl onto the chicken.  Don’t waste that goodness!

oil in bowl

Now grab your rosemary and thyme, strip off the leaves, and sprinkle them on top of the chicken and veggies.  Stuff a few sprigs into the cavity.

chicken with herbs

Pop your pan into a 425 degree oven for approximately an hour and a half (stirring your veggies a few times so that they don’t stick and burn), or until the chicken is cooked through but still moist in the center.  (This depends largely on the size of your bird.)

When you remove it from the oven, your chicken’s skin should be a gorgeous golden brown.  Loosely cover the bird with foil and let it sit for at 10 minutes before carving.  Then dig in.  Yum yum.

roast chicken

INGREDIENTS

whole chicken

baby potatoes

baby carrots

1 sweet onion

4 cloves of garlic

1-2 parsnips

rosemary

thyme

extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

salt & black pepper, to taste