Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

It's not often that I have a whole chicken in my freezer but several months back there was a killer sale (77 cents a pound!) so I bought a couple birds.  I roasted one of them in January following Jonathan Waxman's recipe (you can read about it here), and I defrosted the other one to prepare today.

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables from Recipes from the Root Cellar is your basic recipe, nothing new or exciting, but I wanted to try another roast chicken recipe to compare to my last experience.  Differences I've noticed so far?  Waxman's chicken was roasted at a much higher temperature (475 instead of 350), and also called to season the bird with salt, pepper and oil.  The recipe I'm following today just called for a few garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of the rosemary to be put in the cavity of the chicken, but I couldn't help myself and I rubbed the outside with olive oil, salt and pepper.  The other major difference?  Smoke alarm didn't go off once!  So which one did I prefer?  I loved them both!

The chicken was so moist and tender that Paul barely had to use a knife to carve it -- the meat just fell off the bone.  For the veggies I used what I had on hand:  carrots, turnips, potatoes, onions, and I chopped up a couple celery for flavor.  I was afraid they might overcook (since they were in the oven with the chicken for almost two hours) but they were perfectly done, and so delicious I gobbled it up before I remembered the gravy!

Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter VegetablesRoasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
Recipes from the Root Cellar
Yield:  Serves 4 to 6

1 whole roasting chicken (3 1/2 to 5 pounds), neck and giblets removed
1 whole garlic head, cloves separated and peeled
2 tsp crushed dried rosemary or sage
8 cups peeled and cubed mixed root vegetables (beets, carrots, celery root, parsnips, rutabagas, salsify, and/or turnips)
1 to 2 onions, cut into wedges
2 tbsp sunflower, canola, or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp water or dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 350.

     Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry.  Set in a large roasting pan.  (The pan must be large enough to hold the vegetables in a single layer surrounding the chicken.)  Insert a few garlic cloves and 1 tsp of the rosemary in the cavity of the chicken.
     Combine the root vegetables and onions in a large bowl.  Add the remaining garlic cloves to the vegetables, along with the remaining 1 tsp rosemary.  Add the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Arrange the vegetables in a single layer around the chicken.
     Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (20 to 25 minutes per pound), until the juices run clear from the chicken, a leg moves easily, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165.  Stir the vegetables once or twice during the roasting to promote even cooking and to baste the vegetables.
     Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm under a tent of foil.  Spoon the vegetables into a serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
     To make a gravy, place the roasting pan over one or two burners on medium high heat.  Add the broth and stir to deglaze the pan, bringing the broth to a boil.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and water, mixing until completely smooth; stir into the boiling pan juices.  taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
     Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy, passing the vegetables separately.

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