Is this roast chicken beautiful or what!? Cue all the heart eye emojis and say HELLO Thanksgiving. It’s almost too good looking to eat - golden and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside and full of flavor from the thyme, lemon and garlic it’s roasted with.
I have to admit it felt really good to put on an apron and roast a big beautiful bird for dinner. It felt even better to share it with my husband whose initial reaction was, “Are you serious?” and with a mouthful, “That’s what I’m talking about!” He likes his meat, as you know.
Truthfully, the idea for this incredibly delicious roast chicken recipe came from my burning desire to make homemade broth. Which led us to visit Green Door Gourmet, our favorite local farm and purveyor of local meats, where we purchased the loveliest of chickens.
By the time we got home, I knew I had to throw this pretty bird a proper party and I had just the recipe in mind.
For our wedding, our beloved Aunt Melinda gifted us with two beautiful roasting dishes and her famous recipe for roast chicken. I made a few tweaks here and there, added some crispy sage because - yum - and voilà!
While I chose to roast the chicken with carrots, onions and a medley of potatoes, you could roast with any ole combination of vegetables. As we get deeper into fall, root vegetables will be plentiful in the markets and will go handsomely with this dish.
A few notes before we get to the goods. I recommend buying the highest quality chicken you can find and afford. It’s worth it for the drippings alone and will be especially worthwhile when you make your own chicken broth afterwards. Keep whatever remnants you have leftover from the chicken and store them in the fridge or freezer (read: carcass, neck, bones, etc.) and check out my post on how to make simple, homemade chicken broth!
This is one of those recipes that looks impressive, but is actually a lot easier than it looks. Especially if you’ve already learned how to prepare a bird. I recommend this dish for upcoming holiday celebrations or Sunday night dinner with friends and family.
Roast Chicken with Rainbow Carrots, Potatoes and Crispy Sage
- 1 4-6 lb roasting chicken
- 1 large bunch of fresh thyme (15-20 sprigs)
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 2 Tbsp. butter, cubed
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- Olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. bag baby rainbow carrots or 6-8 medium carrots. Halved and cut into pieces.
- 1 lb. red, purple or fingerling potatoes (or a medley of all three as shown), cut in half or quartered, if large
- 1 onion, cut in quarters and peeled into petals
- 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
- Optional: Fleur de Sel
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lightly oil a large baking dish. Place carrots, onion petals and potatoes in the dish. Season with salt, pepper and fresh or dried herbs to your liking. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat evenly.
- To prepare the chicken, first remove the giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out in cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with 15-20 sprigs of thyme and add the lemon, garlic and cubed butter.
- Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and tie the legs together. (I did not have kitchen string on hand so I opted out of this step.)
- Salt and pepper the outside liberally. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and tuck the wings underneath the body (just like how you cross your arms behind your head when sunning at the beach).
- Place in the lower third of the oven and roast for 1.5 hours. After 45 minutes, baste or brush the chicken with the pan’s drippings and continue roasting for another 30-45 minutes. I basted my chicken one more time and stirred the vegetables to get an equal roast.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, drop one sage leaf into the oil using tongs and cook 5 seconds on each side. The leaf should sizzle in the oil and crisp up quickly, but not yellow. If yellow, your oil is too hot. Once your heat is right, crisp up the remaining sage leaves and place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Then sprinkle with Fleur de Sel or a nice, coarse finishing salt. (Note: I usually crisp up an entire bunch of sage leaves because I like to eat the leftovers like potato chips.)
- The chicken is done when a thermometer reads between 160 - 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let set for 20 minutes before slicing.
To serve, sprinkle the sage leaves around the dish. Carve the chicken and plate with the vegetables. Serve with a simple green salad and enjoy!