by Jeremy Meadows, former Cordata deli cook
Through some wonderful symbiotic alchemy, the aromatic vegetables help to flavor the chicken, and the chicken juices impart incredible richness to the vegetables. It’s just delicious.
At the Co-op we are big fans of eating local, seasonal produce whenever possible, which is in keeping with our status as unabashed sustainable-food-movement warriors. We are also crazy about local, seasonal produce simply because we like food that, you know, tastes good. And a good rule of thumb for determining how good (or bad) your produce is going to taste is to determine how far it has travelled to reach your plate. Remember, veggies get jet-lag too!
In the meager months of winter, eating seasonally is a little more challenging. Many of the winter vegetables—especially the root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, etc.—take a little bit of coaxing and cajoling to bring out their full potential.
Not that this is hard. Indeed, a quick toss with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and a little time in the oven is all it really takes to bring out the sugary, savory deliciousness hidden within these curious ground-dwellers.
But if you want to take things to the next level, try this recipe. Through some wonderful symbiotic alchemy, the aromatic vegetables help to flavor the chicken, and the chicken juices impart incredible richness to the vegetables. It’s just delicious. It’s also really easy to make, and adapts well to use most any sturdy vegetables, which is good because rarely a month goes by when I don’t make it at least once.
Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
1 3–5 pound chicken
Several sprigs of thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed, peel left on
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 pounds assorted root vegetables, cut into 1”–2” chunks (see note)
8 cloves garlic peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
Note: In the winter months, I like a mixture of carrots, parsnips, and rutabagas, but use whatever sturdy vegetables you prefer (beets are especially good). Just remember that cooking times vary. The vegetables mentioned cook evenly, but if you add less-dense vegetables, like potatoes, just cut them slightly larger, so that they cook evenly with the denser vegetables.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper and place thyme sprigs and smashed garlic in the cavity. Truss the chicken. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare other ingredients. (Alternatively, you can use a combination of bone-in chicken pieces such as breasts, thighs, etc., placed on a wire rack over the pan.)
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the soy sauce and set aside.
4. Place the vegetables and peeled garlic in an 8" x 13" casserole, or other high-walled dish that will hold them comfortably. Add the olive oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat.
5. Nestle the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up. Brush about half of the butter/soy sauce mixture all over the chicken.
6. Roast for about 50–60 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, basting with remaining butter/soy sauce mixture once or twice in between.
7. Remove the chicken to a platter and let it rest for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the vegetables and return to the oven while chicken rests.
8. Remove the vegetables from the oven. Carve the chicken and serve with