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A whole roasting chicken (allow it to rest out on the counter for about 30-60 minutes prior to preparing)
Whole garlic cloves, peeled
Fresh herbs (Parsley, Thyme, Sage and Dill are some of my faves)
Vegetables (You can use any variety and mix you'd like. Some of my faves are: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, garlic, mushrooms, fennel, leeks, beets, squash, eggplant, zucchini...the options are endless.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse out your chicken and then pat it dry with paper towels. Let it set (on a glass dish, glass baking sheet, etc...basically anything that isn't wood).
Meanwhile, chop up your veggies. Things like mushrooms and garlic I like to leave whole where as bigger veggies I like to cut into quarters or eighths.
Sprinkle your veggies in the bottom of your roasting pan. Place the chicken on top. At the base of the breast (closer to the cavity), lift the skin and pop several cloves of garlic under the skin and spread throughout the breast area.
Generously baste the top of the chicken with melted butter, pouring an extra over the veggies, then drizzle everything (chicken and veggies) with olive oil (the Revol Olive Oil jar that I linked to is a perfect, no-mess solution for this step). Squeeze on the juice of 1 or 2 lemons, then stuff the lemon halves into the chicken cavity, along with a few more cloves of garlic, a few pieces of onion and a handful of fresh herbs.
Back on the top of the chicken, sprinkle the skin with fresh ground pepper and salt (I love to use garlic salt for extra flavor or some flaky Maldon salt). Use your (very clean) hands to rub the salt and pepper into the skin. Then, after giving your hands a good wash, sprinkle everything with a gene ours helping of chopped fresh herbs.
Pop into the oven and bake.
For best results to ensure a juicy and moist chicken, cook the chicken at 425 degrees for 30-40 mins (depending on weight of the bird). Then bring the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and cook the chicken for another hour to hour and a half. For a chicken under 7 lbs, use the lower end of the time tables.
When the skin on the chicken has turned a nice golden brown color, be sure to place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the chicken and baking pan. This will prevent the top of the chicken from burning and the meat from drying out. It is very important not to enclose the entire baking pan with the foil as it can result in steaming the chicken.
To check to see if the chicken is done, place a thermometer into the breast, being sure to not touch the bone. Once the temperature reads 165 degrees, take the chicken out and let cool for about 5 mins. Then slice and serve.
Recipe by RunWay Chef - see it here.