An Autumn Roast Chicken

Wine & Dine Wednesday brings a Sunday supper roast chicken we dined on at WestWard last week-end. What made it an Autumn chicken were the root vegetables that make the meal extra hearty. This is a one pan meal that could not be simpler and it is incredibly satisfying. Both in cooking it as well as eating it!

Oven to 400 while you get things ready. Peel the carrots and parsnip. I left the carrots whole and cut up the parsnip as it was quite large. The potatoes were quite small so I left them whole. Cut up 2 sweet onions. Cut in half rutabagas. Put the onions in the middle as the chicken will rest on top of those. Salt, pepper and olive oil liberally the whole lot. Use a 4 to 5 pound whole chicken. Give it a quick rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure cavity is empty. Insert a halved garlic and 2 quartered lemons inside the cavity. Put the chicken breast side up on top of onions. Now pour olive oil over top of chicken and massage the oil over the entire bird. This helps considerably in overall browning. Then salt and pepper the heck out of it. Chicken can be pretty tasteless so seasoning it well really helps bring out all the natural flavors. Then top all with rosemary sprigs. That is it! Into that hot oven it goes. At the half hour mark turn the pan around so the bird is now in the opposite direction. This helps with even cooking. Move veg around gently so all browns evenly. At the hour mark insert a thermometer into the chicken. We are going for 160 to 165. If not there, check again in 15 minutes. Once at that internal temperature, turn the oven off, take the chicken out to rest on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to sit for 10 minutes. Discard rosemary stems. Your home should smell pretty divine by this point. The vegetables & potatoes can stay in the oven that is off but still warm to keep things warm. Carve up chicken. Plate up. Enjoy!

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