Roast chicken over leeks, carrots, and fennel; Brussels sprouts

Roast chicken, leeks, carrots, fennel, brussels sprouts

What Sunday nights should look like

There are few foods that offer more deliciousness per time invested than a roast chicken.  Especially if you’ve foregone the roasting rack and instead laid your bird over a bed of carrots, leeks, and fennel.  And especially if you also happen to have a lemon and some fresh thyme to put in the cavity.

Five minutes to assemble, a little over an hour to roast (but no worries if you leave it in a bit longer – it can take it), and you have dinner.  It’s so hands-off you can even decide halfway through cooking it that it’s such a lovely evening you may as well stroll over to Juice Box for a bottle of pinot noir.

(The bread you can either purchase fully baked or do like I do and buy frozen parbaked baguettes to keep in the freezer in case you feel like having bread one night.)

This is so simple it’s barely a recipe (by the way, have you read The Most Difficult Roast Chicken Recipe In The World by my boyfriend Michael Ruhlman?  You should!), but here goes:

1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry

1 lemon, quartered

1 bunch thyme

some garlic

a few carrots, peeled and quartered

2 leeks, trimmed and washed, cut into strips

1 fennel bulb, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350, 400 if you’re short on time.  Put the fennel, carrots, and leeks in the bottom of a large roasting pan / casserole dish / anything oven safe that’s big enough to also hold a chicken.  Put the chicken on top of these things.  Salt the chicken inside & out.  Put the lemon, garlic, and thyme inside the cavity.  Put the chicken in the oven.  In about 90 minutes, take the chicken out and eat it.  Also eat the vegetables.

(You can also put some of the garlic, unpeeled, underneath the chicken with the other veggies where it will get soft and spreadable.  Then you’ll have roast garlic to spread on that baguette in the picture. Woo hoo!)

Oh, for the brussels sprouts, just halve them and toss with salt and olive oil in a smaller oven-safe dealie.  Put them into the oven next to the chicken about an hour into your cooking time.  (If you have very large sprouts, you could put them under the chicken with the others, but personally I like mine to retain some of their bite, so I cook them just until they’re browned and crispy on the outside.)

Even kids like vegetables that have been cooked underneath a roast chicken.  BEHOLD:


He's eating a carrot right there in this picture!

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