For all of you who haven’t heard me complain yet, I hurt my bum. While Jenni and the kiddos were in town I slipped on ice and fell on my lower back just missing my tailbone. I continued to ski while they were visiting, but a few days after they left sneezing became painful. Under Chris’ strict rules, I’m on ski rest until this Saturday.
Bored to tears = me. Not to say I don’t have plenty to do, but being within seconds of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and not being able to enjoy them is painful.
Trying to keep my mind off of my bum, I decided to tackle Thomas Keller’s Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables. The temperature was back into the single digits and this along with a wood burning fire seemed like the perfect combo. It also fell in line with eating more local seasonal vegetables.
Roasting is very different from braising (cooking in liquid) and is a form of dry cooking. Occasionally, you may sear the vegetables and meat prior to roasting, but most of the cooking takes place in the oven. You can roast just about any type of meat, however my favorite is whole chickens. Whole chickens are fun because they involve the impossible trussing and can be stuffed with just about whatever leftovers you may have in the fridge.
This recipe called for more traditional flavors of roasting including thyme, garlic, and butter. The root vegetables make a terrific addition to the roast and magically caramelize while roasting.
And to top it all! This is a one-pot dish.
Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Cookbook
You will need:
~ 1 whole chicken (a little over 4 lbs)
~ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
~ thyme springs
~ Salt and pepper
~ Olive Oil
~ 6 garlic cloves (smashed and peeled)
~ 4 medium sized carrots (peeled)
~ 2 medium sized yellow onions
~ 2 large leeks
~ 2 tennis ball sized turnips
~ 3 tennis ball sized rutabagas
~ 8 small red skinned potatoes
Let chicken sit out of fridge for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until room temperature. Remove innards from cavity (yours may or may not have these). Then rub 2 tablespoons butter under the skin around the chicken breast and stuff cavity with thyme, salt, pepper, and 3 garlic cloves. Truss chicken.
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Cut off the green part of the leeks and cut into quarters leaving the root intact. Rinse under warm water – make sure to spread apart the leeks to get all the dirt out. Leeks are very dirty!
Cut off both ends of the rutabagas and cut off the skin (like peeling an orange) by moving the knife from top to bottom. Then cut rutabaga into ¾ inch wedges. Repeat the same steps with the turnips.
Cut off the top of the onion and the hairy part of the root – BUT make sure to leave the root intact (just clean it up). Then cut the onion into quarters (each quarter should have part of the root).
Cut carrots in half and then half again (or however small you like them).
Combine all vegetables (add potatoes) in a large bowl and add ¼ cup oil, 3 garlic cloves, and thyme springs (I used about 5 thyme springs – more than the recipe called for but I love thyme!). Toss and season with salt and pepper. Pour vegetables into a large roasting pan (disregard the pan I used in the pictures – I’m without most of my supplies in Jackson Hole!).
Pour about 1/8 cup of oil over chicken and season outside with salt and pepper. Then make a nest in the center of the vegetables for the chicken and place chicken there. Cut 4 tablespoons butter and place on top of the chicken.
Put chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Then reduce heat to 400°F and roast for another 45 minutes. When done chicken should be browned and the thickest part of the thighs should register at 160°F.
Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve chicken with vegetables. Yummy! Yummy! This also makes amazing leftovers.