August 6, 2012

Adventures in Cooking: Whole Roasted Chicken

I wanted my first time to be under the direction of someone wiser and more experienced than me.  I'd seen it on TV countless times, and have had every good intention of engaging in the very act myself.  Yes, I was a roasted whole chicken virgin.

You know that ad, "Beef.  It's what's for dinner."  At our house, it's "Chicken.  It's what's for dinner."  At least four times a week, that is.  Almost always chicken legs, and almost always prepared in one of three or four ways.

Maybe that's why I don't love chicken, but I admit it's hard to resist a juicy, tender, crispy whole roasted chicken hot out of the oven.  So today, with a bit of courage, and some improvising with what I have in the fridge, I will make my first whole chicken.

I looked at a bunch of recipes and found one that mostly resembled my set of ingredients and family's tastes.  I like that the dish can be an all-inclusive dinner, with your starch and veggies included.  The other nice thing about roasted chicken is that most recipes don't usually require any of the top 8 allergens, and you can prep and start cooking during naptime.

Whole Roasted Chicken, based on The Barefoot Contessa's Perfect Roast Chicken.  Many recipes add fresh thyme inside the chicken and to the roasted veggies, I just didn't have any.  So I added extra garlic to the veggies.


Whole chicken
Safe butter or margarine, like Earth Balance original or Soy-free Earth Balance
Half to whole pound bag of baby carrots
Bag of fingerling potatoes
Yellow onion, thickly sliced
One bulb of fennel, tops removed and cut into wedges
10 cloves of garlic
1 lemon, halved
Olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Remove any chicken giblets.  Rinse the chicken in and out, and pat dry well.

2. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken, then add the halved lemon, and half of the garlic.

3. Brush the outside of the chicken with butter, and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with butcher's twine, and tuck wings under the body of the chicken.  I did the best I could with what I had, but you should really learn how to properly truss a chicken.  (I ended up making the chicken a second time with the proper kitchen twine and trussing procedure, and felt like quite the accomplished chef!)

4.  In a roasting pan, add carrots, fennel, potatoes, and the rest of the garlic.  Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread around the bottom of the pan and place the chicken on top.

Going into the oven.  Fingers crossed!
5. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear.  Let rest on foil covered platter for 20 minutes, then serve.

The result was delicious and the recipe basically foolproof.  When I tried this out the second time, though, I made the veggies in a separate roasting pan, as they were a bit too greasy for me in the shared pan.  Good luck!


  1. Awesome job Sarah! We <3 roasted chicken in this crib too. I've done a Gourmet Magazine (I think.) and a Jamie Oliver recipe. Love Barefoot Contessa.

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