There's nothing better than roasting a brined, fresh organic chicken with veggies from the garden!!
I like to brine this 4 to 5 hours before roasting, rinse it thoroughly, pat dry and let it "air out" in the fridge for an hour. The drier the chicken, the crispier the skin.
2 cups water
1 cup sea salt
3 smashed garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 lemon in slices
Bring brine to a boil, add 3 cups cold water and 1 cup ice cubes, pour in 2 gallon sized ziploc, add chicken and rest in fridge for 4 to 5 hours. Remove the bird, rinse it clean, pat dry and let her "chill out" in the fridge. Stuff the cavity with the bay leaves, rosemary and lemons you used in the brine. Maybe add more garlic, it's up to you, but I LOVE garlic!!
Meanwhile, roughly chop whatever root veggies and an onion, or some shallots, or both. Potatoes, parsnips, carrots, split Brussels sprouts, fennel... all taste delish!!
Pre-heat oven to 450. In a large roasting pan or cast iron skillet, toss veggies lightly in canola oil. Meanwhile, get your chicken out and rub a generous coating of butter under the skin of the breast and over the skin of the whole chicken and generously grind salt and pepper inside and out. Nestle the bird in the bed of veggies, slide it in the oven, chest side up.
After 30 minutes, lower the oven to 360 and continue roasting until the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees on a thermometer (about an hour for a 3 pound bird, but all ovens vary). My oven also heats more towards the back, so I turn the pan half way through to ensure equal cooking. If the skin of the bird starts to look too dark, just tent lightly with foil. Remove the bird and let her rest for 20 minutes. Plate the veggies on the serving platter and keep on warm in the oven. Good time to pour more wine and make the salad :-D
I like to make a pan sauce by pouring the remaining pan liquid in a fat separating strainer, then adding a 1/4 cup white wine to the roasting pan over medium heat, the strained jus, and scraping up the bits until a nice little sauce forms. Set aside. Then carve her up, place in the bed of roasted veggies, drizzle with pan sauce, garnish with fresh herbs and serve family style. Enjoy!!
Good side dishes** celery root and potato puree, creamy polenta and sauteed kale.
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