To be totally honest, the idea of roasting a chicken was incredibly daunting to me for the longest time. I mean cooking pieces of chicken is one thing but...a whole chicken? That was big time. I expressed my fear to my mother in law and she not only calmed my fears and gave me her go to recipe. I hunkered down in the kitchen one evening not too long after she gave me the recipe and became determined to make this chicken. Well all of that worry was for nothing! Not only was it easy to make...but it was delicious. Roasted chicken is now a staple in our house and whenever Jon brings leftovers to work someone always comments on how yummy it smells. So now I want to share my mother-in-law's recipe* with you!
1 Large Onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 Pound Baby Red Potatoes (I like to use purple potatoes too) You will want to cut smaller ones in half and bigger ones in quarters.
1lb of Carrots-I like to cut them in to long sticks
2 Small Turnips-Peeled and cut in to wedges. I once replaced these with Parsnips and it totally worked.
1 Small Fennel Bulb-Trimmed, Cored and cut in to wedges.
8 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
7 Cloves Garlic- Peeled and then smashed with the side of a knife
1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Whole Chicken (3-3.5 Pounds)
*Preheat oven to 450. In your roasting pan lay out slices of onion in a single layer.
*In a large bowl combine potatoes, carrots, turnips, fennel, 4 thyme sprigs, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 pepper-I just kinda sprinkle salt and pepper haphazardly. Now mix it all up. Are you getting excited? I am! Now take your mix and lay it on top of the onion slices.
*Now close your eyes, reach in to the chicken and grab the giblets, toss them in the garbage and never speak of it again.
*Rub the chicken down with salt and pepper (inside and out). Place remaining thyme sprigs and garlic cloves in the cavity. Now give the chicken a final slathering with oil. (The original recipe says to tie the legs together...I didn't have the proper string so I have never done this and it didn't seem to matter)
*Place the chicken breast side up either directly on the veggies or on the roasting rack.
*Roast for 45 minutes or until juices run clear when the thickest piece of meat is cut in to with a knife or the temp on the meat thermometer (when inserted to thickest part of the thigh) reaches 175.
*Let the chicken cool for 10 minutes and then go ahead and carve it up.
*Put the veggies on your plate and place chicken on top. Boom-dinner is served!
*Originally adapted from Good Housekeeping