There are zillions of roasted chicken recipes out there. This one is certainly not the most exotic or the fanciest, but it might be the biggest bang for your buck in terms of effort you put in (not much) and rewards you reap (a house that smells amazing, a one-pot dinner, and a deep, slow-roasted flavor).
This is also a perfect roast chicken for virgins.
(Virgins to chicken roasting, that is. This one is simple enough for Your First Time.)
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of fresh herbs…whatever you have on hand (or a combination). I only had parsely on this particular day, so that’s what we used.
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thick sliced
1 small bag baby carrots
3 whole parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
3 lbs Yukon Gold baby potatoes, halved
Rinse your chicken really well — inside and out. You just never know what evil bacteria are lurking, so give it a good bath. Once it’s clean, use paper towels to pat it completely dry. If you don’t do this, the skin doesn’t get nearly as crisp. (Some people even swear by refrigerating it for a few hours to let all the moisture evaporate, but I never have time for that.)
p.s. don’t throw out the bones from your chicken…wrap ‘em up and put them in the fridge. We’ll use them to make easy homemade chicken stock next time!
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken