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This is hands-down my favorite roast chicken recipe.  It’s the one I turn to over and over again and make year round.  Last night, I had the pleasure of bringing dinner to a friend who had just welcomed a new baby into her sweet family.  {Oh my, was he handsome.}   Of course, I made a roast chicken with mashed potatoes and also made a field green salad, which is in this post too (just scroll down).

I started making this chicken when my husband and I got engaged.  It is a favorite of my father-in-law and I used to make it frequently when my in-laws would come for dinner since he doesn’t eat pork or beef.  It’s a combination of techniques and recipes from both Martha Stewart and Ina Garten, so you may want to click on these links to see their recipes in original form (or you can just follow mine).

What’s perfect about roasting chicken is everyone loves it, you’ll almost certainly have leftovers which you can make into chicken salad for the next afternoon’s lunch and your kitchen smells heavenly while it’s in the oven.

For this recipe you’ll need: 1 5lb whole chicken (neck and giblets removed); 1 lemon (washed and pricked several times with the tines of a fork); 1 whole head of garlic; 4 tbsp unsalted butter; a bunch of fresh thyme; 1 yellow onion sliced evenly; Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

I use my Emile Henry roasting pan and you’ll also need kitchen string to secure the legs before roasting.

 I roasted this chicken for about 1 1/4 hours in a 425 degree oven.  I basted it once with it’s own juices using my trusty turkey baster (thanks, Linda!).

Whole Roast Chicken


1 5lb chicken (neck and giblets removed)

1 yellow onion, cut into even slices

1 lemon, washed and then pricked several times with the tines of a fork

1 whole head of garlic

1 small bunch of fresh thyme

4 tbsp unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare chicken: wash with cool water, pat dry with paper towels inside and out.  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place onion slices with edges touching into your roasting pan.  Salt and pepper chicken cavity.  Place thyme, garlic and lemon into cavity.  Tuck wings underneath.  Loosen skin over breasts gently and place 1 tbsp of butter between each breast and skin.  Place 1 tbsp of butter near each each breast and wing.  Tie up legs tightly with kitchen twine.  Liberally salt and pepper the prepared chicken.  Roast chicken for 1 1/4 -1 1/2 hours until juices run clear.  Baste once during roasting time with pan juices.  Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Serves: 4

I also made a simple salad of organic field greens, sliced Granny Smith apples, blue cheese, toasted pecans and cranberries.  It seemed very fall-ish to me and the perfect accompaniement to the roast chicken.  It’s sort of a no-recipe recipe and I threw it together, but I’ll give you some loose “guidelines” (aka, a recipe) to get you started.

Also, a little secret just between you and I:  I used bottled champaigne vinaigrette from Trader Joes.  You see I was running out of time and with the rain and after work traffic (and other excuses), I wanted to make my dinner delivery on time.  I know you will make your own vinaigrette, right?

Organic Field Greens with Granny Smith Apples


3 cups of organic field greens

6 thin slices of Granny Smith apple

4 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp pecans, toasted


Divide field greens between 2 salad plates.  Top each plate with sliced apples, cut in half; 2 tbsp of blue cheese; and 1 tbsp each of dried cranberries and toasted pecans.  Top with your favorite vinaigrette.  Serve immediately.

Serves: 2

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