Chicken, roasted straddling veggies like a washed up actress.

This is going to be another simple dish, and cheap. Most importantly delicious. simple, but there are a few parts to this that will take some time to type out, lets get started.

Your ingredient list can be more complicated than this, or less. This is what I had around the house ready to cook up.

  • 1 whole chicken. I used a 4 pound bird, which successfully fed myself and two others, along with leftovers for another meal.
  • Standard mirepoix. For the less French thats a 2:1 ratio of onions to carrots and celery. I used about 1 cup of onions roughly chopped, to 1/2 cup celery and carrot cut into 1/2 inch lengths.
  • Any additional veggies you may want. I added two leeks to the mix, again roughly chopped.
  • Butter. I used about 2 tbs total- half for the chicken and the other tablespoon for the veggies to cook in.
  • Herbs. Whatever you have around will do. I used what I had in the fridge that had been there long enough it was nearly past its prime. Sage, chopped fine. Had I some rosemary, thyme, or practically anything else savory it would have made a fine addition.
  • 1 cup white wine, any variety. I used weeks old prosecco, it tasted pretty good but I wouldn’t recommend buying the Italian version of champagne and letting it go flat for this.
  • 1 tbs AP flour. Thats all purpose if you are confused. Now you have learned something new!

Alright, lets get started with the birdy. I bought mine in the standard vacu-sealed bag. If you did the same cut open the bag over the sink and release whatever juices that escape. Remove the giblets. As this was my first time dealing with a whole bird of any variety I had no idea what to expect. A couple of body parts were resting inside- I plucked them out and threw them away (I don’t have the time or patience to try making stock, finals week and all). Rinse your bird inside and out and allow to dry on a clean surface.

Wash your hands. Well. We’re not going to cross contaminate and get your work surface, veggies, knife, everything covered in possibly problematic bacteria.

Cut your vegetables as I had described earlier. Rough cuts are all you will need as they will be tender after a few hours in the oven. Add them to a roasting pan, season with salt and toss, add your tbs of butter to the mix. Note: I didn’t have a proper roasting pan, so I used a straight sided sauce pan. Anything oven safe and large enough for your chicken and vegetables will work.

Turn your over on to 400℉. Time to focus on your chicken. Finely chop whatever herbs you have so that you have about 1-2 tbs of herbs. Soften the remaining 1 tbs of butter and combine your herbs and butter. Dry off whatever water remains on your bird with paper towel. Gently lift the skin of your chicken and slather every surface you can reach beneath the skin with your butter/herb mix. My sage butter was more than softened, it was melted so I poured the mixture in with some success. Reserve about 1/4 of the mixture and apply to the outside of your bird. Salt and pepper all surfaces of the bird, inside and out. If you have any remaining herbs stuff them into the cavity of the bird. For me I had about a handful of sage left, I stuffed it in.

Add the chicken to the bed of veggies. Keep all appendages of your bird close to the body, using some cotton twine if you need to(most probably wont). It should look similar to this:

Now into the hotbox for 1 1/2 hours, give or take about 15 minutes. Mine took just over 10 minutes longer than the prescribed time. If you use a larger bird, expect longer cook times. Cook it until it is properly browned, and when the skin is punctured the juices run clear. If you need a more empirical form- look for a thermometer reading of 165℉.  It should look something like this:

Tasty, but we aren’t done yet! Cover with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Go check your facebook, run a 5k or dance a festive jig. I’m guessing you’ll do the first.

Remove the bird and the now well cooked veggies and plate them. In the pan you will find the remnants of the cooking process, rendered fat and browned bits of vegetables. It’s time to deglaze the pan. Take your pan and put it over high heat. Add your cup of wine and scrape all the brown stuff off the bottom of the pan. Keep going until you feel nothing left of the bottom of your pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for ~5 minutes. Make a small slurry by vigorously whisking 1tbs flour and about 3tbs of your cooking liquid in a small cup or bowl. This will reduce the chance of clumping of the flour. Add the mixture to your pan and integrate fully. Remove from heat and allow to thicken for a minute or two.

You are all set! Cut your chicken (or rip it apart caveman style, it will be tender enough) and add to plate with a heaping side of your vegetables. I also made some simple mashed potatoes (boil potatoes in salt water for 20 minutes, drain mash with 1/2 stick butter 1/4 cup whole cream, salt and pepper to taste) as my brother could not exist without their starchy goodness. Enjoy!


I’m afraid the gravy is not pictured, I apologize. I’m sure you can envision what a light brown chicken gravy delicately placed on top of both the potatoes and meat would do, and how wonderfully delicious it was. The best part of this entire thing was that is cost less than $10 for four separate meals. $2.50 for a meal is absurdly inexpensive, and overwhelmingly tasty. Give it a shot! If I can do it, you most probably can too.

Posted: December 5th, 2011
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