Whole roast chicken is a staple in our house. My usual go to is this Show Stopper Roast Chicken. Clearly, the post needs an update, but I did get the recipe printable at least. It’s the family favourite, but today I felt like trying something new. I also didn’t feel like putting much thought into it, so I busted into my cookbooks and went with the always dependable Ina Garten. This recipe is in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and it has tons of really great, and surprisingly simple recipes in it. I definitely recommend it!
It calls for fennel in the base with the carrots, and if you’re a fan already than you know you’re good to go. Anna and I like fennel, but Bo and Oliver don’t, so I don’t cook with it too often. If you’re not a fennel person you could always swap out with some peeled potato wedges (½” thick), just to maintain enough of a side dish.
I did try making a gravy, but I wasn’t a big fan of the flavour (I assume it’s the fennel throwing it off for me). Not a big deal though, and the chicken itself had lots of great flavour and was really juicy!
Sorry about the pictures that look straight out of a 1980’s Company’s Coming cookbook. Winter and I don’t get along photography wise, damn lack of natural light.
- 1 whole chicken
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch of thyme, plus 20 sprigs
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
- 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF with a rack in the middle position
- Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat dry and remove any excess fat.
- Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with a bunch of thyme, the lemon, and the garlic.
- Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with twine, and tuck in the wings.
- Put the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, the 20 sprigs of thyme, and the olive oil. Spread evenly among the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top.
- Bake for 1½ hours, until the juices run clear and the breast reaches 180ºF. Tent with foil for 20 minutes to rest before slicing and serving.