This is a recipe everyone needs in their portfolio. Especially when the world is trying to freeze us Chicagoans out with this frigid weather. I know it’s easy to buy a rotisserie chicken but it’s not the same and it’s a waste of money. This recipe is foolproof and comforting and makes you look like a hero. For me… as the weather gets colder I start dividing my time between eating indulgent food that sticks to my bones/keeps me warm/keeps me in perpetual sweats and analyzing just how pale I’m getting…
This dish fulfills the hibernation food requirements without being terrible for you. The cooking process will keep your mind off your ghost-like appearance. Win/win.
Inspired by my girl Ina Garten
1 roasting chicken (5ish pounds)
1 bunch fresh thyme plus 20ish sprigs
1 lemon cut in half
1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges
Olive oil/kosher salt/pepper
If there is anything left inside your chicken remove it (and yell at your butcher later for making you reach in there and take that gross stuff out) or export that task to another person (my Aunt did this for me on Tgiving- hero).
Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat the outside dry with paper towels like you mean it. This is what’s going to help make your chicken a beaut. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. This is always hilarious to do alone as I did last time I made this dish. Somehow figure out a way to hold up your chicken so you can grind fresh pepper into the cavity without raw chickeness getting all over your kitchen. Good luck (hopefully you have roommates to hold up the chicken- Kelsey I miss you). Stuff the inside of the chicken with the thyme, lemon, and garlic (get as much as you can shove in there but if you can’t get both lemon halves in, etc the world won’t end).
Liberally brush the outside of the chicken with the butter (the milk solids in the butter are going to brown the bird like whoa). Sprinkle with salt/pep. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (I’ve used floss before not sorry). Tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. You might feel like the wings won’t tuck in and I’m asking you to do something not physically possible for the bird but yoga out on this chick and make it happen I promise they will tuck in. If you really can’t force them it’s fine (I skip it all the time) I know you’re just going to eat the breast meat anyway.
Place the onions, carrots and fennel in a roasting pan or whatever dish/sheet you have for your bird that won’t get chicken jus all over your oven. Toss veggies with salt/pep/20 sprigs of thyme/olive oil. Spread around bottom of pan and place chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1.5 hours at 425 degrees or until the juice runs clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the dish from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. No cheating. Some of the vegetables will look really dark and that’s okay they are caramelized and amazing.
There you go: meat, veggies, winter survival.