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Jan 6, 2014

Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies: Comfort Food for the Snow Bound

Like most of Saint Louis, my home is covered in a thick layer of powdery snow. To me this is the makings for a lovely snowy day in, which requires three things; comfy jammies, a good book, and warm and savory comfort food.

Well, I have the jammies covered and my kindle is charged and ready to go, which leaves only the savory dinner. Luckily, I planned ahead and have the makings for a perfect warm hearty meal. Roasted chicken is one of my absolute favorite dishes, and over the years, I like to think I have perfected it, at least to my taste. Nothing satisfies on a cold wintery day like plate of chicken cooked to perfection accompanied by root vegetables braised in it's juices. So, with that said, here is my personal recipe for this timeless dish:

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
Serves 4
Time: 20 mins prep 45 mins to and hour cook time.



1/2 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Salt

I like to let my chicken marinate in a simple brine for up to 8 hours before I roast it. It doesn't have to sit that long, though. Even an hour or two will help to make your chicken tender and juicy.


1 whole chicken
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh rosemary
6 sage leaves
salt and pepper


1 whole yellow onion, rough chopped
1 1/2 pound new potatoes, halved if large
12 peeled carrots cut in 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon wedge

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
I start by prepping my vegetables. After chopping them I put them into a medium saucepan of boiling water and boil them for about ten minutes while I prepare the chicken. I happen to like my vegetable on the done side. If you like them more "al dente," skip this step.

After boiling, toss the vegetables in a bowl with the butter, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. place them in the bottom of your roasting pan. If you don't have a roasting pan, which involves a grate that holds the chicken above the vegetables, not to worry. Any large baking pan will do. Just make sure the veggies live around the chicken and not underneath. I like to add a splash of chicken stock to the veggies to keep them moist, about 1/4 cup. If you don't have the stock, thats fine, water will do the trick.

Next prep your chicken. Pat the chicken dry to remove residual brine and place the chicken on a cutting board. Place the onion and herbs into it's cavity, along with a 2 tablespoons butter and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. Then, using your finger to create a pocket between the meat and skin, push the garlic cloves under the skin around the breast and thigh areas of the bird. Then rub the chicken's skin liberally with the remaining butter and truss the legs together with butcher's twine. If you don't have the twine, I like to cut a one inch slit in the skin near the cavity on one side and pull the opposite leg through the slit to keep the hole covered.

Place the chicken on the rack in your roasting pan, or directly into the pan, flanked by the prepared vegetables. Bake the chicken for 45 minuted to an hour, depending on size, until a meat thermometer reads 165. Let the bird sit for about ten minutes. I like to turn off the oven, but keep the veggies in it while the bird rests.

Then, before serving I squeeze the lemon wedge over the veggies and stir, just to give them a bit of acid. Then, plate the veggies and accompanying juices and serve with the cut up chicken. Enjoy!

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