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The cooler weather means it is time for heartier, cozier meals. Once the colors begin to change and the temperature falls in the evenings I am drawn into the kitchen more often. A golden herb roast chicken with a side of delectable roasted root vegetables makes a perfect fall meal.
A roast chicken is a very simple meal but at the same time it feels a little fancy. Once the prep work is done and the chicken and vegetables are in the oven you may even have time to dress up the table and make the whole meal feel special!
Perfectly Moist Roast Chicken
My method of roasting a chicken originally came from the cookbook The Art of Simple Food. I recieved this book as a wedding gift 15 years ago and it has been one of my favorite go-to cookbooks. The recipes are very simple but elegant at the same time.
Roast chicken can often turn out a bit on the dry side, but when using the trick from this recipe it turns out moist every time. The trick is to cook the chicken breast side down for a portion of the cooking time! This allows the juices to run into the breast meat which is the dryest part of the chicken.
This roast chicken is dressed up with flavorful garden herbs for a delectable flavor.
Roasting in a Dutch Oven
After roasting many chickens, I have found that my favorite pan to use is a Dutch oven. I have found that a smaller pan is better for keeping the juices together and preventing burning on the bottom. I also like the lid if the chicken begins to brown to quickly on the top.
Herbs For Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables
I love to mix and match the herbs I use based on what is growing. A few favorites include:
Many herbs can be used for flavoring a roast chicken. My favorite is to run out to the garden to snip a handful of fresh herbs. However when they are out of season I also use dried herbs.
Preparing the Herbs
Gather a large bunch of desired herbs for the roast chicken and root vegeatables.Set aside a few sprigs of each herb for placing inside the chicken later. Chop the remaining herbs finely into small pieces. Divide the chopped herbs in half; some for the chicken some for the vegetables.
Preparing the Chicken for Roasting
If possible prepare the chicken a day before cooking but otherwise do this step at least an hour ahead. Take a whole chicken out of the fridge and remove all packaging. Remove any giblets from the cavity. Place chicken in a roasting pan or a Dutch oven.
Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and pepper. This is a great place to use homemade herb salt. Next stuff a few sprigs of herbs into the cavity of the chicken. Gently loosen the skin and and place the chopped herbs underneath over the breast and thighs. Give the chicken a drizle of olive oil.
Place breast side up in the pan, cover and refridgerate.
Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before baking for more even cooking.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Preparing the Vegetables for Roasting
Gather a variety of root vegetables for roasting. I like to use a combination of potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, and garlic. Other possibities include sweet potatoes, turnips, or parsnips. Chop all the vegetables into cubes. Simply divide the garlic into cloves and leave whole with the peel on. This creates delicious soft cloves.
Place all the vegetables into a shallow baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with remaining chopped herbs and stir until vegetables are well coated.
Cover pan with foil or a silicone baking mat.
Roasting the Chicken and Root Vegetables
Place both the pan of root vegetables and the dutch oven with the chicken into a 400F oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Then remove the cover from the vegetables and turn the chicken over so that the thigh side is facing up. Roast for another 20 minutes then turn the chicken back to breast side up to continue roasting for another 10- 20 minutes.
Also check and stir the vegetables at this time to be sure they are not over cooking. If they seem done take them out now.
When are the Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables Done?
The chicken is done when the skin begins to separate from the drumstick and when the leg wiggles freely. If you are unsure cut into the thigh meat. It should be hot and no longer red.
Allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes for the juices to settle, then carve and serve.
The vegetables are done when they are fully tender and the edges are nicely browned.
Cutting up the Roaast Chicken
Begin cutting up the chicken by pulling the leg out. Find the hip joint and slice firmly through to remove the legs. Begin at the top of the breast and cut it from the ribcage. Then carve it into slices.
Versatile Roast Chicken
During the autumn and winter I make a roast chicken about once a week. A roast chicken is a simple, versatile and economical meal.
The first night that I roast the chicken we enjoy it as a meal itselft with roasted vegeatables or mashed potatoes and gravy.
Next I remove as much of the rest of the meat from the bones for use later. This chicken meat can be used in other meals such as enchiladas, chicken salad sandwiches, and casseroles.
Last I simmer the carcass in water with a splash of vinegar to make chicken stock. Once strained I pick of any last bits of meat from the bones for soup before disposing of them.
I hope you have enjoyed this resipe for Herb Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables1 Stay tuned for more cozy autumn recipes.
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Herb Roasted Chicken With Root VegetablesCourse: Main DishCuisine: TraditionalDifficulty: Intermediate
1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 – 4 lbs
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, savory, whole and chopped
Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic
- Season chicken 1 hour to 1 day ahead of time. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Place whole herbs inside cavity and chopped herbs under skin. Drizzle with olive oil. If seasoning the day before cover and refridgerate.
- Remove chicken from fridge on hour before baking. Place breast side up in a dutch oven. Preheat oven to 400F
- Roast chicken for 20 minutes, turn breast side down and roast for another 20 minutes, Turn back to breast side up and roast for about 20 minutes more until fully cooked and browned.
- A larger bird will simply roast for a bit longer after the last turning. If the top is browning too quickly cover the dutch oven with the lid.
- Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Once Chicken is prepared, cut root vegetables into cubes. The garlic only needs to be separated into cloves with the peel left on.
- Place into a shallow baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and chopped herbs.
- Roast along with the chicken covering for the first 20-30 minutes. Remove the cover to allow edges to brown.