People ask me all the time if I’m interested in having a third kid. The answer (for now, at least) is: Why would I when a cake mixer has two beaters to lick and a chicken has two drumsticks to serve? (Shouldn’t I take it as some sort of sign that the girls are both crazy about the legs while Andy and I are perfectly content with the breast and thighs?) Anyway — I would say a roast chicken is the recipe I get the most requests for from my friends. One of them — Lori — has even gone so far as saying she feels that being able to roast a chicken should be a requirement of motherhood. If that is the case, then I was not an official mother until I came upon this recipe two years ago. It requires no flipping from breast to back — once it’s in the oven, it’s in. I love that. And the carrots it roasts upon drink up all the chicken fat, which the girls love. They pass on the barley arugula salad I made with it last week, so I just let them have a roll. But as far as I’m concerned, it still counts as One Meal.
Perfect Roast Chicken
6 potatoes (anything but baking potatoes), cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
1 whole roasting chicken (organic if you can swing it) about 4 pounds (make sure little packet of giblets removed from cavity)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, pricked several times with a knife
1 small bunch fresh thyme
Heat oven to 425°F. Arrange potatoes and carrots in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse inside and outside of chicken under cold water and pat dry. Brush chicken skin with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Fill cavity with lemon and thyme. Place chicken breast-side up over roasting vegetables and continue roasting until chicken is a golden brown and juice run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven, carve, and serve with carrots and potatoes (which will have absorbed the chickeny fat) and …
Barley & Arugula Salad
Cook barley according to package directions. Toss with baby arugula and your favorite red- or white-wine based vinaigrette. (I added a little storebought pesto to mine, but you could also just add whatever fresh herb is lying around.) Add shredded Parmesan and toss.