Good Eats: Perfect Roast Chicken

“I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it — and, more important, I like to give it.”

Julia Childs

Perfect Roast Chicken

My husband and I are always trying to look for new ways to eat chicken. And if you know us, we GRILL everything and we grill year round. Snowstorm, hurricane….we grill. Usually we grill our chicken, but we find that it tends to dry out quickly the longer it sits in the fridge. We have a slow cooker and we have tried out a couple chicken meals with it, but Diego isn’t crazy about the meat turning out so soft and becoming almost unidentifiable. ;( The last meal we made in the crock pot, I got a text from him after lunch saying “I’m giving away the slow cooker.” We haven’t but we have not tried another recipe since the chicken con arroz disaster. ;(

We racked our brains to come up with a new way to cook our chicken. How about roasting our chicken, Diego suggested. Hmmm. Interesting. Roast our chicken. Revolutionary idea! It couldn’t be that difficult, right? I was given the task of looking up “How to Roast a Chicken,” and we quickly found the recipe “Perfect Roast Chicken” from the Food Network site and Voila! A new meal was born.

Here is the recipe straight from the Food Network Website. The words in bold are our additions.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved


The vegetables.

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges                                                           1 bag of small red/purple potatoes                                                                                                                                   Olive oil                                                                                                                                                      

Stuffing for the chickenOlive oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, fennel  and potatoes in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Ready to roast!

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.




Wow! What an incredible chicken! This turned out so much better than expected that I was eating the vegetables straight out of the container without heating them up. Amazing. We enjoyed this meal so much that we decided to make it again the following week. I don’t know if we would substitute anything else or take out anything. It was so easy to prep and turned out so well. And it was definitely better than any of our crock pot recipes so far. Don’t worry, we have not given up on the slow cooker….but we just have not found the right recipe yet. If YOU have a good slow cooker recipe you would like to share, send it to We would love to post our reader’s recipes as part of our Good Eats Posts!

2 thoughts on “Good Eats: Perfect Roast Chicken”

  1. Mmm, this looks so good! I love those purple potatoes 🙂 We RARELY use our slow cooker either, so I’m interested to see if anyone sends some recipes to you. On a related note, last night I made salmon burgers, sweet potato hash, and green beans. It was something different and very yummy!

    1. Harper! Send in your recipe for your dinner! Sounds delicious!!!! Yes, I do want some good slow cooker recipes because we are a little discouraged with what we have done recently. ;( Thanks for the comment and send in that recipe!

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