Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Compound Butter (flavored butter)
- 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Leaves from approx. 15 stems of fresh thyme (or a combo of fresh herbs such as oregano, marjoram, rosemary, etc.) *save the stems for your bag of ends-n-nubs in the freezer for making Bone Broth*
- Zest of 1 lemon, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 (ore more, to taste) grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
Combine ingredients in bowl and set aside.
Vegetables for the bottom of the roasting pan
I own an unusually large Pyrex® baking dish — 15″ x 11.” If you do not own such a large casserole, use the largest one you have and make a “bed” of vegetables. My combination varies each time I roast a chicken. Here are some veggies I choose from:
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into large dice
- 4 or 5 carrots, cut into large dice
- 4 or 5 stalks of celery — especially the large outer stalks on a bunch, cut into large dice
- 15 small new potatoes or fingerlings, that have been partially pre-boiled in salted water
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 5 or 6 cloves of garlic, cut into thirds
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 bulb of fennel, cut into large dice
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
Combine vegetables in baking pan with olive oil and seasoning. Stir to distribute vegetables around pan.
- 20 sprigs of fresh thyme
Tuck into bed of vegetables. I like salt and pepper a lot and have both salt & pepper grinders, so at this point, I add another couple of grinds of salt and pepper over the top of the bed of veggies.
Each of these next ingredients is optional:
- 1/4 cup white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc) — pour evenly over veggies
- 1/4 cup filtered water — pour evenly over veggies
- Juice of the lemon that you zested for the Compound Butter — pour evenly over veggies
I usually do all of the above, because I find that the veggies are less likely to scorch with the liquid in the pan, and I like to spoon the resulting pan juice over the chicken and veggies when serving.
Prepare the Chicken
- One 4 – 6 pound chicken, preferably pasture-raised, that had to forage for its food. The one in the picture is from a local farm I like a lot, McDonald Farm.
- 10-15 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a combo of fresh herbs, still on their stems, such as rosemary, oregano, savory, etc.)
- 2 or 3 whole garlic cloves
- Body of the lemon that you zested for the Compound Butter and juiced for the veggies
Remove giblets from inside of cavity of chicken, if included. I don’t save the organs, as much as this breaks Mr. Batch’s heart (he loves organ meats), but I do save the neck for Bone Broth — I add it to my bags of frozen carcasses of roasted chickens and/or the ends-n-nubs of veggies that I save for batches of Bone Broth.
Rinse chicken, both inside and out. Promptly disinfect entire sink and counter area.
Place chicken breast-side-down onto bed of veggies in baking pan. Loosen skin along back and rub approx 1/3 of the Compound Butter underneath the skin. You can then press on the skin to help distribute the butter. Sprinkle back with salt and pepper.
Turn chicken over and repeat with remaining Compound Butter: Loosen skin along breasts and legs and rub Compound Butter underneath the skin. You can then press on the skin to help distribute the butter.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the body of the zested & juiced lemon, cloves of garlic and stems of fresh herbs.
Tuck wings behind bird, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle breasts and legs with salt and pepper.
Promptly wash hands and disinfect entire counter area where you’ve been working.
Roast chicken in 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes per pound. I rotate the pan, half-way through the cooking, for even roasting in case there are hot spots in my oven.
Once finished cooking, allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before carving.
Yield: approximately 6 – 8 servings, depending on the size of your chicken. I love this recipe because it is an all-in-one dish, or you can add some green veggies such as wilted spinach or steamed broccoli. Be sure to spoon some of the pan juices over the carved chicken and roasted veggies.
Once the chicken is cool, I pick all of the meat from the carcass and keep 2 portions in the refrigerator and freeze the rest, and also freeze the carcass for a batch of Bone Broth once I have several carcasses.
I keep all of the roasted vegetables, together, in a big container in the refrigerator and then reheat them with the chicken, or reheat them to enjoy in other dishes (such as a side of veggies with an entree salad). There are always a LOT of roasted veggies.