Herb Roasted Chicken
Roasting a whole chicken can be a daunting task, especially when doing it for the first time, but this chicken is both versatile and economical. Serve it at a dinner party with friends or a casual, weeknight family supper. A three pound chicken could serve a family of four for several days- get creative with your leftovers! You will have to forgive me for the lousy photos and for not including one of the final product. By the time I was ready to carve, Hayden was in his highchair, drooling and hollering like a rabid animal.
1 whole chicken (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lb)
4-5 sprigs thyme
2 tbs olive oil
2 clove garlic, crushed or minced
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 450º Remove leaves from 2 sprigs thyme. Combine with olive oil through salt, add a few cracks of pepper, and set aside. Remove any giblets from chicken cavity, then rinse chicken and pat dry. Gently loosen skin from chicken and, using your fingers, rub olive oil mixture into the chicken, under the skin. Stuff cavity with carrots*, onions, and remaining thyme sprigs. Tie up your chicken- if you have one of those fancy poultry needle thingies, use that. If not, just use a sort of criss-cross method to get the wings and legs tucked in tight (see blurry photo below). Be sure to tie it up snugly so the legs and wings don’t overcook. Place chicken breast side up into a roasting pan with rack. Cook for 20 minutes, then baste and turn your chicken over (breast side down). Reduce heat to 350º and cook for 40 minutes. Turn and baste again, and continue cooking chicken for another 20 minutes or until juices from the thigh run clear-yellow (if juices are pink, chicken is not done). Let chicken sit 15-20 minutes before carving.
*Carrots will cook inside the chicken cavity but will be firm. If you want them really soft, steam them for a couple of minutes before stuffing into the chicken.