Perfect Roast Chicken and Vegetables

This recipe has been shared before, but it is absolutely one of my FAVORITE dinners to make.  I love roasting chickens. They are so easy. Yes, easy. If you’ve never roasted a chicken for dinner you are missing out! If the picture in your head requires you to slave over a hot stove, basting and fretting over your bird, you need a reality check. A few minutes of prep and then into the oven it goes. No work required for an hour and a half while it cooks. When it’s done, it looks like Norman Rockwell came and painted dinner on your table. Gorgeous!

This chicken is well-flavored with butter, lemon and garlic. Stuffed inside the chicken roughly chopped, the flavor makers require almost zero prep. As far as the veggies around the chicken go, feel free to use baby carrots if you want to cut out the step of cutting up whole ones. Sometimes, I add a little poultry seasoning to the butter that gets rubbed under the skin. Sometimes not. Either way it’s delectable.

The veggies actually are my favorite part of this meal. My husband says as delicious as the chicken is, it’s really just a side dish to the perfection of the roasted vegetables. Just look at that amazing golden color. Ah-mazing.

Perfect Roast Chicken & Vegetables
(adapted from Ina Garten)

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs (dried thyme can be substituted)
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (melt 2 tablespoons)
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 chunks
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
3 russet potatoes (or 5 red/baby potatoes)
Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.

Poke one finger under the breast skin at opening of the chicken. Wiggle around until the skin is separated from the meat. Repeat on other breast. Rub 1 T of butter underneath the skin on each side of the chicken breast. Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and potatoes in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 10-15 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Perfect Roast Chicken

I love roasting chickens. I only recently discovered this easy (yes, easy) dinner. I used to think roasting a chicken meant slaving away all day, basting repeatedly. Not so. A few minutes of prep and then into the oven it goes. No work required for an hour and a half while it cooks. Just think of all things you could do in that amount of time! Read some books to the kids, do the dishes, fold some laundry, paint your nails, get some sun in the front yard while eating strawberries from a bowl. I highly recommend that last one. You should try it some time. It’s amazing. Then you come back inside high on vitamin D to the delicious smell of a roasted chicken. There is not a better way to spend an afternoon. [Read more…]

Samoas Bars

Girl Scouts, and their cookies are evil. Little girls in little outfits, their adorable patches and vests and all those delightful rectangular boxes of deliciousness. Eager smiles and bright eyes saying “Would you like to buy some cookies?”. I managed to avoid them this year. I hid my face, pretended to be deaf, did all I could to find an entrance not blocked by a table loaded with treats. Why did I do that? Now they are all gone. And I don’t have any boxes stashed in my freezer. Woe is me! Whatever will I do? (breathe Tonya, just breathe) Ok. I found this idea for homemade Samoas Bars and knew I’d found a perfect solution. Shortbread base, topped with caramel coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. All the awesomeness of my favorite Girl Scout treat, and from my own oven. Hooray! Oh joy! Rapture! [Read more…]

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Stop the presses. These cupcakes are divine. Simply amazing. I took a lick from the bowl after portioning out the batter and wanted to just eat all of it raw using my hands as shovels. The process for making brownies (melt butter and chocolate together slowly, then add to dry ingredients) is used here and it produces a batter that is thick and rich, but kind of reminded me of my foamy hair mousse because it still had a lightness to it. Ah-mazing. Made with rich dark chocolate, the deep flavor of the cupcakes is perfectly offset by the airy creamy sweetness of the peanut butter frosting. Honestly? It tastes like the middle of a peanut butter cup, but creamier. Wow. Heavenly. [Read more…]

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