Whole birds intimidate me. I’m not sure why, but something about putting an entire turkey or chicken in the oven and hoping it turns out well just seems a little daunting. I think part of my fear stems from the fact that while growing up, I watched my mom prepare countless Thanksgiving turkeys or Sunday dinner roast chickens with ease and grace. Served with sides of mashed potatoes smothered with homemade gravy, cooked carrots, and hand-kneaded rolls, these meals were always a labor of love that I imagined impossible to recreate. Well, as I’ve come to find out, it was the “extras” (AKA tasty side dishes) that would keep my mom tied up for hours in the kitchen. The roasted bird was the EASY part of these fondly-remembered family meals! Knowing this tidbit of information helped me decide to face a new challenge head-on and roast my first chicken this week. And you know what?? It was so incredibly SIMPLE! Easy enough that I tossed it into the oven when I got home from work, and about an hour later a wonderful roast chicken dinner was served! Whole chickens are pretty darn inexpensive as well; so not only is this a super easy entrée that takes little effort, but it also won’t break the bank! To get started, preheat the oven to 425°F and chop up about a pound of assorted root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and onions were what I had on hand). Arrange the veggies in the bottom of a roasting pan. I decided to make mine in my Dutch oven and it worked well!
Next, prepare your (not-so-intimidating!) whole chicken. If frozen, thaw completely before stuffing a quartered small onion and three whole garlic cloves into the cavity of the bird. These aromatic vegetables will infuse the chicken with loads of flavor!
Once the chicken has been stuffed, place it breast-side up on top of the roasting vegetables. Rub the skin with a tablespoon of canola oil, which will help the chicken turn a delicious, deep golden brown while roasting. Add some extra flavor by sprinkling with the garlic powder and poultry seasoning.
Finally, roast the chicken in your preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165⁰F in the thickest part of the thigh. And just like that, dinner is served! If you’re feeling ambitious and want to make additional side dishes while the chicken is roasting, go for it! Otherwise, kick back and relax until it’s time to serve your tender, juicy chicken over a bed of roasted vegetables. This is classic comfort food that is easy, simple, and delicious…. Enjoy!
Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken
- 1 lb. root vegetables, chopped
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1, 3-4 lb. whole chicken, thawed
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Arrange prepared root vegetables in bottom of roasting pan.
- Place quartered onion and whole garlic cloves into the cavity of the chicken.
- Place stuffed chicken, breast-side up, on top of roasting vegetables. Rub the chicken with the canola oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and poultry seasoning.
- Roast for about 1 hour or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165⁰F in the thickest part of the thigh.
Yield: 4 servings Per Serving*: Calories 350, Total Fat 11g (Saturated 3g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 135mg, Sodium 160mg, Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g), Protein 46g, Vitamin A 130%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 6%, Iron 15% *Nutritional values are an approximation. Analysis is based on roasted chicken with the skin removed. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.