Yep. You read that right. I’m a recipe blogger and I’ve never cooked a whole chicken by myself before. I’ve eaten plenty of them. I’ve helped cook them (and turkeys, including basting) before. But from soup-to-nuts, I’ve never done it. Until now.
A few weeks ago, I boiled a whole chicken with help from my mom, and then we made a soup out of it. This time, though, I roasted the bird in the oven (and I even remembered to take out the bag of innards), then used the carcass to make a chicken stock, and then made a delicious chicken soup out of it. I’m pretty proud of myself for doing something just about every “cook” in the world has done a million times. Don’t judge me. We all grow at our own pace.
So, to keep this recipe as simple as possible, I bought as many vegetables from Spacegirl Organics as I could, got an organic cage-free chicken from Whole Foods, and got to cookin’. Here’s my recipe!
Roasted Chicken and Veggies Prep
- Make your own garlic oil. I added an organic olive oil (2-4 ounces) to a small jar that contained 4-5 cloves of freshly minced garlic and let it sit for several hours.
- Prep your veggies. I used broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, and zucchini. I ROUGH chopped these veggies because I didn’t want them to cook too quickly.
- Mince herbs. I bought an organic herb bag that included rosemary, thyme, and sage. I finely chopped the herbs and set them to the side, but you could infuse your olive oil with them if you wanted a STRONG herb taste.
- Thaw your chicken and remove the bag of gross innards stuff…but do NOT discard. That nasty bag is full of nutrient-dense goodness and you should save it for your chicken stock. (Note: if you’re new to this process–and why in the world would you be reading this recipe if you’re not–don’t throw away the packaging the chicken came in without noting the weight of that chicken!! That will determine how long you’ll cook it. And no one wants to rummage through their garbage can for that info. And yes, I know this from personal experience.)
Roasted Chicken and Veggies Recipe
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350.
- Put your chicken in a greased baking dish (I used a glass dish about 9×13 but it was a little deeper than most).
- Add chopped veggies.
- Add a little (1-2 C.) water or chicken stock. I used chicken stock from the last time I made homemade stock, but you can also use purchased stock. I highly recommend using SOMETHING because, even though other recipes don’t call for it, my chicken was SO JUICY and I give the stock the credit.
- Spoon that delicious garlic oil all over your chicken and veggies.
- Sprinkle on your herbs all over the chicken.
- Sprinkle your favorite mineral salt (I use himalayan) and pepper all over the chicken and veggies.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes per pound plus at least another fifteen minutes. (My 4 pound bird cooked for about an hour and a half and still needed another fifteen minutes for the juices to flow clear.)
- You’ll also want to baste your chicken every 15 minutes. I don’t have one of those nifty baster tube thingees, so I just pulled the rack out, dug my big silver spoon to the bottom of the baking dish, and spooned the broth and juice and oil that had dripped to the bottom of the pan up onto the top of the chicken again. Keep spooning — maybe about 8-10 times — so that there are no dry spots on the chicken or veggies. If you didn’t use all of your olive oil, add more of that to the top of your chicken each time you baste until you run out.
- Check your chicken once you’ve cooked it the full time recommended based on its weight, and if you’ve got clear liquids running, you’re all set! (Don’t be fooled by that dark meat — it’s still going to have a pink tinge to the meat, but the juice should be clear).
- Enjoy that dinner!!
- If you’re feeling brave, save your bones/carcass after you’ve gotten all/most the meat off, and make your own homemade chicken stock!
And p.s. I’m filing these chicken recipes under “baby/toddler recipes” as well because they are GREAT for family meal planning, making healthy leftovers, and they are tasty enough to serve to picky eaters! For younger kiddos, pulse the bigger pieces in a food processor to make it mushier.