Aside from the fact that this is an inviting and satisfying meal, it also makes your house smell like a home. Few things smell better than a chicken roasting in the oven. When you cook a smaller chicken at 425 degrees it can be done in 1.5 hours — not too bad if you’re in a rush!
This is probably one of my favorite dinners. Comfort food at its best.
- 1 3-4 pound chicken (see notes)
- 1 garlic bulb, sliced in half crosswise
- 2 lemons, 1 quartered and 1 whole
- 1 pounds of carrots, quartet lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1-2 yellow onion, sliced
- Fresh parsley, 1/2 bunch
- Fresh thyme, 20 sprigs
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- (Special equipment: kitchen twine)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the carrots, the onions and the sliced lemons in a baking dish. I use a 9 x 13 inch one but if you want to cook 2 pounds of carrots or 2 chickens you will need a bigger pan so the carrots don’t steam. You want these babies roasted. Toss the veggies and lemons with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Add a few sprigs of thyme in there too,
Remove anything from the cavity of the chicken (sometimes the giblets are in there). Dry the chicken with paper towels and season the inside and outside of the chicken very liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the the lemon, garlic, thyme and parsley inside the chicken.
Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter. (Or you can melt it and brush it on.) Rub a little bit of olive oil on the chicken too.
Tie the legs together and also tie the wings so they are tight with the chicken. Or you can tuck the wing tips under the chicken, but I can never do this.
Place the chicken on top of the veggies.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the juice run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (I like to spring the chicken with paprika when it has about 30 minutes left to cook.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving. You can put the carrots and onions back in the oven at 350 while the chicken rests.
Carve the chicken and serve with the carrots and onions.
Most roast chicken recipes call for a 5-6 pound chicken. I really prefer a smaller chicken as I think they are tastier. If you need more chicken, roast 2 chickens. Also, I think people think they need to serve fancy food when they have guests over—but people love something homey when they are in a home. Trust me, if you roast a chicken, your friends will thank you! And I highly recommend mashed potatoes and green beans as sides.