Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Kind of a high-maintenance recipe, but worth the work, beats store bought roast chicken, any day!
This requires a roasting pan with a wire rack, or a large baking pan with a wire cooling rack that will fit comfortably in the pan.

1 whole chicken (4 to 7 lbs.)
2 to 3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 tsp. mined fresh rosemary or thyme of ¾ tsp. dried, crumbled
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional, but highly recommended)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. salt
5 medium baking potatoes, cut into ¾ inch cubes
3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Remove the neck and giblets from, then rinse the chicken, pat dry.
2. Generously rub the body and neck cavities and sprinkle with salt. Set a v-rack or flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place chicken on the rack and brush with 2 to 3 Tbsp. melted butter.
3. Mix the rosemary or thyme, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and ½ tsp. salt. Gently separate the skin from the body of the chicken with the tips of your fingers and rub the meat with the herb mixture.
4. Position the chicken on its side, that is, with a leg facing up. If you are using a flat rack, you may need to prop the chicken up with balls of aluminum foil to keep from topping over. Roast for 25 minutes for the first 4 lbs, plus 3 minutes for each additional pound.
5. Remove the rack from the roasting pan and spread the potatoes and butternut squash over the bottom of the pan; return rack to pan, setting over the vegetables. Insert a wooden spoon or large metal spoon into the body cavity or grasp the chicken at both ends, with your hands protected with paper towels. Turn chicken over on its other side, again propping with foil balls if necessary. Roast again for 25 minutes for the first 4 lbs, plus 3 minutes for each additional pound.
6. Turn chicken, breast side up, stir the vegetables, and roast 15 to 30 minutes more. The chicken is done when the thickest part of the thigh exudes clear juices when pricked deeply with a fork and registers 170° to 175° on an instant read thermometer (if you prefer very well done chicken thermometer should read 180°). If vegetables are not tender when the chicken is done, remove the chicken from the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and set aside to rest before carving. Stir the vegetables, and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until tender.

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