The pickle man

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner (Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes)

So, school is almost out for summer.  The garden is growing. There are many many blogs in my future.  But for now, survival mode continues... The AP examining of my students is very stressful!

But tonight, I get to eat this for dinner:
Hello, gorgeous!

I learned to make this chicken because one of my mom's best friends brought it to me after I had Dixon.  It's almost worth going in to labor, it's that good.  So now, I bring it to my friends when they have babies!  Lots of garlic, but I haven't really received many complaints :)

It's amazing.  I think my son would have me make this every other night.

The chicken is also very easy.  It takes about 15 minutes to prep it, then it bakes merrily away for an hour to an hour and a half.  Then it comes out - one dish, super simple cleanup.

And it is delicious - not dried out at all.  Crispy skin, juicy cooked meat... sigh.

Some secrets/ tips to the perfect roast chicken:
1. Buy a small, young chicken (3-4 lbs).  I go organic, cage free, but that's up to you.  Just know that if you buy one that's too big, parts of it will overcook and parts will still be disgustingly pink and jiggly when you are finished cooking it.  Small = good.

2. Don't bother with knotting the legs together.  If you want a yummy, crispy skin, "spread eagle" is the way to go.

3. If you want the skin crispy, wash the chicken and pat it dry.  Really dry.  Use a kitchen towel - not just a wad of paper towels.

So, that's about it.

Here's the recipe:
1 3-4 lb young chicken or hen
1 clove garlic, split horizontally
1 lemon, quartered
3-4 springs fresh rosemary
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 yellow onion, sliced in thin(ish) rings)
1 16 oz package frozen green beans (these were sadly missing tonight, and they are my favorite part, but the grocery store was out.  Sigh).
Salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning (thyme, sage, etc) to taste
1 tbs butter

Preheat the oven to 425.

Cube sweet potatoes, slice the onions, and scatter the potatoes and the onion in the bottom of a roaster big enough to hold the chicken.
Wash the chicken, pat dry, remove giblets.
In a small mixing bowl or prep bowl, create a paste of softened butter (OK to microwave) salt, pepper, and seasonings.  Rub this paste under the skin.  Try not to tear the skin (I did, and it was still OK, but do try!)
Stuff the cavity with the garlic, lemon, and rosemary.  If everything doesn't fit, pull out the lemon - it stands up to the heat the best - and scatter it around the dish.

Plop the chicken (very unceremoniously) on top of the sweet potatoes

Bake at 425 for about an hour (total time) - use a meat thermometer!  The legs should read around 170, and the breast around 160 when it is finished.
After the first 45 minutes or so, add the green beans (pretend I did this - they are really yummy and you should not leave them out).  Finish baking for another 15-30 minutes.

While it is baking, do whatever you like - you don't need to check on it.  Do some laundry, go running, or take the time to give some extra snuggles to a cute little boy who is trying to cut 4 molars all at once.



  1. This looks like a great recipe for me to know. We are in survival mode too--because of baseball and softball. So you don't cover the chicken? And I just happen to have fresh rosemary growing in my garden!

  2. Nope - don't cover the chicken. Just make sure that the rack you put it on is not very close to the top of your oven, or the skin will scorch. I have also left this in my oven on "cook time" and had the oven cut off while I was gone.