Roast chicken might be one of my favorite meals. It is simple. I mean, really, really simple. It is delicious and tastes like home. It is also one of those meals that I hadn’t bothered to tackle for quite a while. Why would a single lady need to roast a whole chicken? It’s not like I am feeding a family or trying to get some handsome fella to propose (seriously, it is a thing people do).
And then I realized that a chicken can be made into meals for the whole week. A nice roast dinner on Sunday. Grain bowls for lunch. Chicken salad sandwiches. Tacos. Enchiladas. BBQ chicken. Any number of soups or chili varieties. As a topping for a green salad. Roasting chicken is a great shortcut for meal prep and quite the economical choice. (Ugh, such an adult thing to do – when did that happen?)
I’ve now made this chicken at least a dozen times, and is in regular rotation both for dinners with friends and for prepping meals for the week.
- 1 approximately 3 1/2 pound chicken (preferably organic)
- 2 medium onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 bulb garlic
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture of those herbs
- About half an hour before you are going to make your chicken, take it out of the fridge. Your chicken won’t cook right straight from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. The best part of this recipe is that you don’t have to peel any of the vegetables. Just wash and roughly chop them.
- Pile all the vegetables and garlic into the middle of an 11×13″ pyrex or other roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper – making sure you rub it all over. Prick the lemon all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan and put it into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If you want to roast some potatoes or vegetables, put them in the oven for about the last 45 minutes or so.
- Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the vegetables are looking dry, add a splash of water to the tray to keep them from burning. When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 15-20 minutes. Cover it with a layer of foil and a tea towel while it rests. If you are making gravy, make it now.