Recipe: Simple Roast Chicken (and the yummiest veggies ever!)

Post by Olivia Blodgett, Registered Dietitian

Nothing screams fall like a chicken roasting in the oven! While this recipe is so simple, roasting a chicken is a pretty important cooking skill to know. Once you have done it a few times you will no longer have to reference a recipe and will be able to throw a chicken in the oven no problem.

This recipe came from our Autumn Harvest class, which was one of my favorite annual classes. Every dish in the class was warm, comforting, and full of fall flavor, but everyone’s favorite part of the whole class was always the vegetables that served as a roasting rack for the chicken. They absorb the chicken fat and become deeply caramelized and savory. We used to make this chicken in a cast iron skillet but you can also make it in a large roasting pan and increase the amount and variety of vegetables you are using. You might just have to toss any vegetables that are not directly under the chicken with some oil or butter to keep them from drying out. Celery root, parsnips and beets would be excellent addditions! Enjoy!


(Adapted from various sources)

Makes 3-4 servings


One 3-4 lb chicken, preferably farm raised

2 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature



1 onion, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 lemon

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out.
  2. Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff with ½ lemon. Truss the bird by tucking the wings under the body and tying the drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
  3. Salt the chicken so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon).
  4. Loosen the skin over the breast and place butter on top of each breast.
  5. Place onions and carrots on bottom of roasting pan; these will serve as a rack for the chicken.
  6. Place the chicken, breast up, on the vegetables and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 160 F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  7. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

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