It could be freezing cold or blazing hot outside. I could be craving a light, fresh meal or a comforting dish. A roast chicken always fits the bill.
It’s a classic on it’s own and ready for unlimited leftover possibilities. Chicken salads, sandwiches, flatbreads or just cold and dunked in spicy, sweet barbeque sauce. The bones saved in the freezer for my next marathon chicken stock making session. Every bit of each bird is used and appreciated.
This is my favorite way to roast a chicken. I cut out the backbone and save it for stock. I press down on the breastbone until it cracks so I can flatten out the bird.
The chicken lays on top of the vegetables and the whole pot goes into the oven. About 40 minutes later, the house smells like heaven and you have a platter of deliciousness.
1 4 – 4 1/2 lb organic, free-range chicken
1 3/4 lbs small, waxy potatoes
4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks
1 yellow onion, peeled, halved and cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (such as thyme, rosemary and sage)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry. To butterfly the chicken, use a pair of sharp kitchen shears to remove the backbone. Flip the chicken over and press down on the center of the breast bone with the heel of your hand to break it and flatten the chicken. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. When the pan is hot, lay the whole chicken, breast side down into the oil and butter. Adjust the bird so as much skin as possible is in contact with the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip the bird over and brown on the other side, about 6 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a platter. Put onions in the pot and top with carrots, celery and potatoes. Sprinkle herbs on top of the vegetables. Then place the chicken on top breast side up. Cover the pot with a lid and put in the oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes. Remove the chicken when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees and serve.