I’ve have tried many different ways of preparing whole chickens: slow cooker recipes, beer-can chicken on the BBQ,  marinated in a red wine and herb rub overnight and even brined over several hours then rubbed with butter and fine herbs. Nevertheless, my favorite recipe is this one since it is easy to follow and does not require as much salt as many of the recipes indicated, in particular, for the brine method. Also, this recipe requires no marination (saving time and effort) and results in an extremely juicy chicken. After initial preparation is completed and the chickens are placed in the oven, you will have approximately 2 hours to do something else, like preparing for house guests and opening a lovely bottle of wine.

 

 

This is a great recipe for the holidays when you need to get so much done, as long as you remember to keep a timer close by to remind you to check your oven. As a bonus, you get a side of roasted vegetables and potatoes and a delicious broth that can be used turn them into a mash or kept for another recipe in a mason jar, preserved in the freezer. This recipe is a true favorite that leaves a heavenly smell in the home and enchants family and friends. Honestly, I rarely have leftovers to spare when I make it at home. The only thing missing is the holiday dessert...so stay tuned!

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Basil, dry -  3 tbsp

  • Oregano, dry - 3 tbsp

  • Pepper, ground -  5ml

  • Salt, fine -  5ml

  • Paprika, ground, 10ml

  • 4 Bay leaves, whole, fresh or dry

  • Avocado Oil,  60ml (½ for the rub, ½ for the vegetables)

  • 10 -12 sprigs thyme, fresh

  • Chicken, raw, unfrozen or thawed,  whole -  2x 2lbs

  • Onion  large: Cut into 6 wedges (for the chicken)

  • 1 lemon, large, cut into 6 wedges

  • Onion large: sliced thin round ¼ inch thick (for the vegetable)

  • Potatoes 6-7 medium, preferably Yukon gold or yellow flesh, cut in quarters or sixth  to match the size of the carrots

  • Carrots 6-7 large, cut into ½ inch thick rounds

rub

 

Chicken rub:

  • Mix together oregano, basil, paprika, pepper, salt and 30 ml of avocado oil.

  • Set aside.

  • Preheat oven to 380oF. Ensure that racks are placed to accommodate the height of the chicken (may need to remove a rack).

 

vegetables

 

Potatoes and Root Vegetable Mix:

  • Place in bottom of a large roasting pan in an even layer.

  • Add 30 ml of avocado oil and mix.

  • Add sliced onions on top.

  • Place 4 bay leaves tucked in each corner of the bed of root vegetable mix and 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme over top.

 

chicken-raw

 

Chicken:

  • Place the chicken on top the of the potatoes and root vegetable mix and coat the whole chicken (breast and back) with the rub, making sure to well massage it into the skin.

  • Make a hole under the skin of the breast and add leftover rub and 2 sprigs of thyme per breast.

  • Place in alternation 2-3 wedges of lemon and 2-3 wedges of onion in each chicken.

  • You can also place a sprig of thyme in each chicken, if desired, to add flavor.(optional)

  • Place in the preheated 380oF oven for approximately 2hr or until the thickest part of breast reaches 180oF when checked with a meat thermometer.

  • Let it rest for 15 mins covered to allow juices to redistribute.

  • Check doneness when making the first cut. Breast meat should be white and opaque and juices should run clear.

 

Serving & Plating:

  • Chicken can be set aside, skin removed and set on a serving plate to be carved at the table. Tip: remove the wishbone by breaking it off to help to carve.

  • Potato & vegetable mix can be served as is and the broth can be kept aside for a future recipe. Another option is to use the chicken stock to make mashed potatoes and root vegetables (see below).

 

**To complete this dish, you may serve with a simple green salad, with balsamic and olive vinaigrette.

 

Bonus recipe - Mashed Potatoes & Root Vegetables:

 

  • Remove the potatoes and vegetable and place in a large bowl.

  • Progressively add the chicken stock a ½ cup at a time and mash by hand until fully blended and creamed to desired consistency. One fresh garlic clove that is well mashed may be added(optional). For a slightly creamier texture, the 1st ½ cup of broth can be substituted with a ½ cup of 5% sour cream, if desired.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Bon Appetit!