Sunday, January 10, 2016

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 5-6 lb. roasting chicken (I bought mine cut up)
Olive oil
2 1/2 tbsps. butter, softened
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground thyme
1 butternut or acorn squash
1 large yellow onion
1 bulb of fennel
6 medium carrots
1 orange
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 400F degrees

Combine the butter, salt, pepper and thyme in a small container and set aside (I apologize, I forgot to take a picture of this step)

Remove skin from squash and chop in chunks.  I would have preferred to use a butternut squash over the acorn squash only because the acorn squash is difficult to cut.  It took me a little longer than usual and with all it's curves, I was afraid of my sharp knife slipping and cutting off my finger. So be careful when you cut your squash, they're slippery!  Place squash in a large bowl.

Cut the onion into slices.  As you can see I chopped mine up, oh well it really doesn't matter

This is a fennel bulb just in case you've never seen one before.  Our local grocery store had a bunch in the vegetable section and they looked so good, clean and fresh (which at times is a rarity).  I just had to buy one.  Anyway, chop off the stems and cute the bulb into thick slices.

Place the fennel slices in the same bowl

Cut the carrots in chunks and place in bowl with other vegetables

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, a generous amount of each.  Drizzle with oil about 2 tbsps. worth.

With a spatula combine to cover all the vegetables with the oil

In a large tray 1 inch deep, drizzle on some olive oil.  Add bowl of vegetables to tray.

With a zester, sprinkle orange zest over all the vegetables.

Then cut the orange in half and squeeze juice over all the vegetables.  Place lemon quarters in with the vegetables.  Set aside.

Prepare chicken by rubbing the butter mixture over every piece including getting underneath the skin.  Try not to tear it though.

Place the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake 1 1/2 hours, rotating the tray once halfway through.

I'm thrilled how the chicken looked when it came out of the oven.  Golden brown with crispy skin.  The vegetables were roasted just as well and very tender.

Place roasted chicken pieces on a large platter, the vegetables around the edges then sprinkle with fennel fronds.

I first saw this recipe around five years ago as it was being prepared by Ina Garten on her Barefoot Contessa food program. I had never seen or heard of fennel and it aroused my curiosity.  As she finished the recipe, the chicken looked so savory and so good but then, in my opinion Ina makes everything look delicious.  I have now cooked this recipe at least ten times.  I have tweaked it slighty by omitting the garlic and adding the squash and the orange.

I used a tray/cookie sheet instead of a casserole dish this time knowing that the edges and sides of the chicken would also get golden brown.  It helped that the chicken was cut up too.  Much to my surprise, I loved how crispy the skin came out and I'm certain it is because I used the the tray.

Hubby loved it and commented several times how it had a great flavor and the seasoning was just right.  I love to cook and I love to make him happy.  As the chicken roasted, the whole house was filled with amazing delicious aromas.  We both agreed it would make a great dish to serve when we have friends over.  I highly recommend you try this recipe, there's a good reason why the word "perfect" is in the title.

Have a blessed week.  Until next time,


  1. I have to pin it..maybe it is in one of my books but obviously your post did it for me..I can imagine the aromas..and your pics are great Bev!

  2. PS love the fonts you use..very professional looking...

    1. You are making me blush and I'm so honored, you're SO encouraging. Thank you so much! I bought some fonts a few months ago and use them quite often although that will probably be the one and only time I'll ever buy fonts...shhhh! don't tell my hubby ;) I borrowed my daughter's Canon SLR camera. I hope she forgets I have it ;)

    2. I thought everything looked so good..just need the fennel..:)
      LOL re the camera..but it's working for you!

  3. Just popped over from Monique - 'la Table de Nana', I roast chicken in so many ways, I wanted to see your version. how delicious it looks, I will definitely pin your method. Loved all the photos giving such detailed images. How nice to find your blog, this is what I love about blogging, coming in contact with so many like mined people all over the world. I'll certainly be back seeing what you're doing.

    1. Hi Barbara, how sweet of you to stop by for a visit and to leavea comment. Monique at La Table de Nana is the best. I have followed her for at least six years now and she never fails to amaze me. Thank you for all your kind words, so thoughtful of you, I will stop by your blog as well! I have enjoyed getting to know new people and "bloggy friends" in blogland. Have a blessed weekeend!

  4. I discover your blog - thanks to la Table de Nana - and your chicken with its oven roasted vegetables look awesome :)

    1. Thank you and yes, thank you La Table de Nana too

  5. I can just imagine how good the vegetables are with all the flavors of the roasting chicken dripping on them. It sounds like a wonderful meal.

    1. Thank you Karen, it was indeed delectable!

  6. That does sound like a 'perfect' recipe! It would be a great recipe to try on a romantic date night with my sweet husband!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe and your delicious looking pictures!


    1. Awwww, that's so sweet. Your hubby will like it even with all those vegies my meat and potatoes man loved it too.

  7. Everything that I have ever tried of Ina Garten's recipes have always been delicious! I'd like to start roasting my own chickens to save even more money than buying those already roasted in the stores! Great to make salads, sandwiches, and to freeze after the first dinner is enjoyed! Thank you for the step by step photos too, Bev!

    1. Right? I love Ina. She was the first one to inspire me to pick up cooking and the love for it. I'm trying my darndest to cook everything from scratch and not have anyone else do the cooking for me such as those roasted chickens in the store. It's been a tough road but I'm also learning to love the process. I rarely use a boxed food anymore - too many preservatives and additives, not to mention the salt. Thank you for your input, I value it Roz :)

  8. I love Ina, too, Bev! Her recipes always turn out great and your tweaks in the recipe sound perfect.
    I also scrolled down through the chicken broccoli soup and THEN the chocolate espresso bundt, I could just eat my way through your posts. Yum!!!

    1. Awww Kitty, thx so much for your kind words! Have a blessed week!