Whole Roast Chicken with Vegetable Medley

Just in case the picture-perfect instagram feeds and fancy restaurants have you fooled, let me assure ya'll that eating like a farmer is not exactly glamorous. Eating like a farmer starts with taking stock of the ingredients you have at hand - perhaps some funky potatoes, a few misshapen carrots, a rogue beet or two, half a bunch of fresh herbs, and hopefully a nice juicy lemon. Eating like a farmer means gaining an understanding of how certain vegetables, fruits, and proteins like to be prepared, and using your imagination + hard-earned kitchen instincts to whip up vibrant, nourishing dishes. 

Case in point. This "no-recipe" recipe is one of my favorites to teach in cooking classes, because it's more of a basic technique, and it makes succulent, crispy-skinned chicken and irresistible glazed vegetables all in one baking tray. The secret is filling a large baking tray with whatever vegetables you have on hand and roasting the whole chicken on top, which means the veggies catch all those fabulous juices and take on a whole new depth of flavor. 



Serves: 6-8 people

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Prep time:

Cooking time:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped in 1/2" dice
  • 1 lb carrots, chopped in 1/2" dice
  • 1 red onion, chopped in 1/2" dice
  • 3-4 beet roots, chopped in 1/2" dice
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • One 3.5-4 lb whole chicken
  • Optional spices: cumin, coriander, paprika, garam masala, etc
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Chop the vegetables (use whatever you have on hand - this recipe is just a suggestion) into a roughly 1/2" dice, and spread the veggies in a single layer on a large rimmed baking tray.
  3. Toss vegetables with a few good glugs of olive oil, and a hefty pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
  4. For the ultimate crispy skin, pat the chicken with a paper towel until the skin is very dry. Season the chicken inside and out liberally with salt, pepper, and (optional) spices. I personally love chicken spiced with cumin, paprika, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  5. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up, in the baking tray. Take a few of the lemon quarters and squeeze them over the chicken and veggies. Take the remaining lemon quarters and stuff them inside the chicken cavity.
  6. Grab your olive oil and pour a few glugs of oil all over the chicken. At this point I usually season the outside of the chicken with a bit more salt and pepper.
  7. Put the tray in the hot oven and roast until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is golden brown, and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork, 75 to 90 minutes. Halfway through baking, turn the tray and stir the vegetables to ensure even roasting. If you use an instant-read thermometer, it should register 165°F when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the chicken from the tray and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Give the vegetables a good stir in those lovely juices, taste and adjust seasoning/add salt as needed, then transfer to a serving tray and keep warm while the chicken cools.