Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
I really tried to avoid cooking chicken while I was living in Italy, not because I dislike it, but there is something about Italian chicken that is a little off. Anytime I would bake it, roast it, pan fry it, it never came out right, too stringy and usually undercooked. I grew up on chicken, growing up in the South, Georgia specifically, which is the state that produces more poultry than any other place in the world. Seems a bit absurd, the four Ps, poultry, peanuts, pine and peaches.
One of the nice things about being back in the States is the fact that I can start cooking chicken again. Learning well from my Dutch-Jewish mother, I can make 4 meals out of one chicken and have leftover stock to put in the freezer for a risotto.
She was in Charleston recently, helping my husband and I get moved in to our new apartment and we made a baked chicken with roasted root vegetables, which was so comforting and the root vegetables were so beautiful in the roasting pan and on the plate.
Baked Chicken with Root Vegetables
For the Chicken:
- one whole baking chicken, innards removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil for basting
- salt to taste
- whole onion
- 1 cup of parsley
For the Roasted Root Vegetables:
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 beet
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 large parsnip
- 1 turnip, we found a ruby red one, which was beautiful, but a regular old turnip will also do
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wash your chicken with cold water, inside and out (I like to wash any meat that I prepare, like I would wash vegetables, you never know where it has been!), be sure that the liver and neck bone have been taken out. Place the chicken in a lightly oiled roasting pan, and stuff the chicken with the peeled onion and the parsley (you can stuff you chicken with anything you please, this was what I had on hand). Paint the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the center of the oven in a large roasting pan for 15 minutes before you add your root vegetables.
Peel the vegetables and chop all of them into large pieces, toss with olive oil and a little bit of salt. You could add fresh herbs to them if you have them available. Some of the vegetables will take longer than others, so you may want to toss the beets, turnips, parsnips and the carrots and add them to the roasting pan first, waiting about 15 minutes to add the sweet potatoes.
The chicken should roast for about an hour, but since I don’t consider myself an expert, I thought that I would share what the Joy of Cooking had to say about it:
The total roasting time for a 4-pound bird will be 55 to 65 minutes. For larger birds, figure 1 hour for the first 4 pounds, plus about 8 minutes for each additional pound. Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
I usually measure whether a chicken is done by, cutting between the leg and the breast, if the liquid is clear, it should be done.
If the vegetables are not cooked through by the time the chicken is done, leave them in the roasting pan while you carve the chicken. They shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes, but you never know, some vegetables are more stubborn than others.
I made a wonderful chicken curry with some of the leftover chicken and the leftover veggies. No pictures or recipe though, just thrown in the pot with ginger, lemon and curry powder. It was gooooood.