Every now and again, I hunker down and lay low. The past couple of weeks has been marked by high winds, terrible rain storms, family gatherings and busy nights at work. I ran a half marathon, caught up with a million friends and read three books for NTP prep… by the end of each day, I have wanted nothing more than to head home, heat up some peppermint tea, listen to D’Angelo and chill the eff out. Even my social media feed is trending toward hibernation: my facebook page is a ghost town, I haven’t tweeted since the VP debates and anyone following my on Spotify probably thinks I’ve slipped into a dark depression. If it weren’t for Pinterest, people would probably think that I have skipped town and left modern technology behind all-together.
But… I haven’t. Simply put, I played entirely too hard on the few nights I ventured out in November and still feel like I’m in recovery mode. Two home Husky games and one epic birthday party left my liver protruding from my abdomen for nearly three days after each occasion and my wallet significantly lighter after countless bourbon shot and red wine purchases at a dozen or so bars within five miles of home and work. I’ve made too many bartender friends this month and have the bar tabs to prove it. Two weeks ago today, I threw in the towel. Unable to crawl off my couch to head to the grocery store, I pulled up Amazon Fresh and decided to execute the most adult main dish I could possibly think of: I was going to stuff roast a chicken.
For years, I have been terrified at the idea of roasting an entire animal or even an entire part of it. First, I would inevitably screw something up and 10 pounds of food would go to waste. Second, I wanted nothing to do with sticking my hand up a chicken’s but to season the cavity or tying legs/ears/hooves together. Gross. Despite all this, I have always felt that I needed to bite this bullet in order to become a “real adult cook.” A quick Google search demonstrated that there are approximately 1 million ways to roast a chicken, but I didn’t have to look further than the first page to find two recipes I could adapt from. Ina Garten and Martha Stewart guided me through this terrifying process like a dream and the chicken was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe how easy – and hands-off – it was. It lasted a full week, making for incredible leftovers along the way. I am officially a real-live grown up.
Dreamy Roast Chicken
1 3.5 lb. roasting chicken
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 lg. red onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
1 bulb fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Remove any chicken giblets (I don’t know what these are – I just removed anything that looked like extra fat on the inside). Rinse the chicken inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with thyme, lemon and garlic.
3. Brush the outside of the chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body to prevent burning.
4. Place vegetables in a roasting pan or large baking dish, tossing with salt, pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil. Spread around bottom of the pan and place chicken on top. Roast for 1 hour, or until juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. If you have a meat thermometer, you can tell the chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees. remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Slice and serve!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1.5 hours
Serves: 6 people