This is a classic, simple recipe that yields a gorgeous and impressive dinner. I’ve made it for multiple friends and family members and it has always gotten rave reviews. There’s nothing fancy about it. I guess it just goes to show that, sometimes, the old-fashioned way really is the best way.
Classic Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
adapted from Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford, Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
4 small red new potatoes, quartered if large
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, cut into six wedges
4 TBSP olive oil kosher salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 chicken (3 to 4 lbs.)
1 lemon, quartered
fresh herbs of your choice (I like either rosemary or thyme best)
4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Put the carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onion in the bottom of the roasting pan. Toss with 1 TBSP of the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and some of the fresh herbs. Spread to the edge of the roasting pan.
3. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard. Rinse the bird under cold water and pat dry. Put the chicken, breast side up, in the center of the baking dish and brush with the remaining olive oil. Season the cavity and outer skin generously with salt and pepper. Put the lemon quarters and sprigs of fresh herbs in the cavity. Put the garlic cloves under the chicken to prevent them from burning.
4. Roast for 45 minutes. Check bird every 20 minutes. If it is getting to brown on top, tent with foil. Use tongs to pour juice from the cavity into the pan. Once pan juices develop, baste bird at each check.
5. Continue roasting 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the chicken is a deep golden brown and the juices run clear when the tip of a knife is inserted into the thigh joint. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should register between 170 and 175 degrees F.
6. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
7. Using the back of a spoon, mash the garlic and squeeze some of the lemon into the pan juices. Toss juices with the vegetables.
8. Place vegetables around the bird and drizzle with remaining juices for a dramatic presentation. Alternately, carve the chicken ahead of time and place on one end of a platter with vegetables on the other end.