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Cooking 101: “Shortcut” Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Roast chicken and me?

It’s complicated.

See, I love the look of a beautifully roasted chicken — golden brown, crispy skin, juices just begging to be sopped up by some crusty bread, the whole deal.

But on a busy weeknight I’m not such a fan of the carving — too time-consuming, too messy, and I always seem to ruin that gorgeous skin in the process.

And then a number of years ago I came across a recipe for cut-up roasted chicken.

easy roasted chicken and root vegetables

Cut-up. Genius.

Coated with softened butter and seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh herbs, each individual piece gets its own crisped skin — and serving couldn’t be faster or easier!

Even better, the chicken is roasted with lots of cut-up onions and garlic, which flavor the pan juices and create a delicious “gravy” to spoon over the top.

easy roasted chicken and root vegetables

I always make this dish with a big tray of roasted root vegetables. If you’ve never roasted veggies before, you are in for a treat.  Roasting vegetables — especially root vegetables — has a transformative effect that is truly magical. Roasting brings out a sweetness and flavor that elevates even the most busted, lackluster veggies to truly delicious heights.

easy roasted chicken and root vegetables

This dish is special enough to serve for guests but easy enough to be a weeknight staple — give it a try!

easy roasted chicken and root vegetables

Chicken with Onions, Garlic and Roasted Root Vegetables
adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (I cut each breast in half so that all pieces are of similar size)
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
kosher salt and black pepper
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lbs. root vegetables (I used 2 lbs. carrots and 1 lb. parsnips here)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. each chopped thyme and rosemary
fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 475. Rinse chicken pieces and pat thoroughly dry; arrange in a large roasting pan. Brush chicken with butter and season generously with salt and pepper. Place onion wedges, garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary sprigs under and around the chicken.

Peel carrots and parsnips — slice lengthwise into halves and quarters, creating pieces that are as uniform as possible so that they roast at the same rate. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped herbs. Spread evenly on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if you prefer).

Place the chicken and vegetables in the oven. After 20 minutes baste the chicken with pan drippings. Continue cooking until chicken is deep golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes more. Roast the vegetables until browned and tender, 30-40 minutes.

Transfer chicken, onions and garlic to a serving platter. Spoon pan drippings over prior to serving. Transfer vegetables to another platter; garnish with fresh herb sprigs if desired.

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
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