Classic Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Written by Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen

If there’s one thing that must be eaten at least weekly in our house it is this simple, rustic dish of roasted chicken and root vegetables. Why? You ask. Well for one, it usually leaves substantial enough leftovers for lunches to be made for whomever desires them. Another reason is because, contrary to its appearance, it’s amazingly simple and quick to make.

Getting home from work at a somewhat late afternoon time doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have time to make a wonderfully satisfying dinner that will suit just about anybody’s needs. Roasted chicken, as per this recipe, can be done in no time at all and come out unfailingly moist and succulent on the inside while creating that crackly, perfectly crisp skin on the outside.

ALL photos by Elizabeth Nyland

The root vegetables are an inexpensive, filling and ultimately healthy side dish and cook up quite well in the time the chicken needs to be perfect. Even if you timed it wrong or cut up your vegetables too large to cook evenly, the chicken deserves its 20 minutes of rest before carving. Ample time to allow the undercooked vegetables to be done without anyone the wiser.

The other beauty of this recipe is that it can be done in varying ways. It works equally good for goose and turkey (see above picture) and can even be used with cut up chicken pieces which are usually a bargain at most grocery stores (see below pictures).

Time and time again I have impressed friends and family alike with finger lickin’ good chicken with little to no effort. Once the vegetables are cut up, the chicken stuffed, rubbed and inserted into the oven, all you have to do is pour yourself a glass of wine, set some vegetables to steam and take a seat on the couch. You could also pair it with a light salad if you’re feeling fancy.

Recipe: Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

  • 1 3-5lb. roasting chicken **
  • 4 small sprigs each fresh rosemary (or thyme, sage, oregano, etc.)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup or so of grapeseed or macadamia nut oil
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 large sweet onion

1. Two hours before you begin, take the chicken out of the refrigerator to bring it up to room temperature. Tip: Always start cooking meat from room temperature as it ensures even cooking throughout.

2. Dry chicken inside and out with paper towels (alternately you can leave it in the fridge uncovered for a day as well and really dry it out) and season the cavity with coarse salt and pepper.

3. Put two sprigs of rosemary, 4 cloves of the squashed garlic and 1/2 a lemon into the cavity. Set the bird on a platter breast side up and rub with oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip the bird over and repeat on the back and legs.

4. Preheat your oven for 425°F. Meanwhile, cut up your vegetables into large chunks about 1 1/2″ square. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the remaining herbs, garlic and about an 1/8 of a cup of grapeseed or macadamia nut oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in a large, deep roasting dish. Uncover an area in the center for the chicken.

5. Place chicken in center of roasting dish, back side up. That’s right, back side up (as in breast side down). Tip: Believe me, this will create a most succulent of breasts and the best crunchy skin ever. Roast in 425°F oven for 25-35 minutes (more towards the 35 minute mark if the bird is closer to 5 pounds), then turn the oven down to 375°F and roast for an additional 60-75 minutes.

Chicken is done when internal temperature (measured at the thickest part of the thigh) reaches 165°F… though I prefer to go a little higher to 180°F. I find that the meat next to the legs and thighs needs that extra temperature to be completely cooked through. Don’t worry it won’t be dry, I promise.

7. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set on a wooden board to rest for 20 minutes. If the vegetables are not yet done, return them to oven and continue to roast while chicken rests.

8. Carve your chicken and serve with accompanying vegetables or salad to round out the meal.

** Variations:

  • Turkey: Follow all steps the same until #6. Leave an 8-12lb. turkey or goose in the 425°F oven for at least 45 minutes. Then turn down and check temperature after 1 hour. When it reaches at least 165°F, it’s done!
  • Legs and Thighs: Follow the directions accordingly, but cook for only 20 minutes at 425°F and then for approximately 35 minutes at 375°F. Use a thermometer to check doneness or if you trust your self, wiggle a leg. It should be quite loose feeling if done right.

What is your go-to comfort food? Do you ever prepare a meal just for the leftovers?

Editor’s note: Sadly, this will be Elizabeth’s last post as a contributor on Simple Bites as she is launching a new business among other endeavours. We want to wish her all the best in that new adventure! You can still follow her culinary creations over at Guilty Kitchen. Liz, thank you for being a part of Simple Bites. You will be missed!.

About Elizabeth

On her blog, Guilty Kitchen, Elizabeth writes about the joys of local food, buying sustainable and feeling much too guilty after indulging in too many rich desserts.

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Comments

  1. Our favourite comfort food is chicken pot pie. We adore it and often make extra for leftovers.

  2. Seems like every meal has leftovers! But chilli is the only dish where I purposely plan to have leftovers; sometimes I think it’s better the second, or third, time around. ;)

  3. I make a recipe almost exactly like this one – at least once a week! I don’t like to eat a lot of meat/poultry, so I usually mix a can or two of chickpeas into the vegetables. Yum.
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)’s last post: Creamy Roast Vegetable Soup

  4. I make a similar recipe just like this one. I agree it’s very comforting and very nourishing too. I have also made it in a crock pot too, turned out pretty good except you don’t get the golden brown crispiness on some parts of the chicken and root veggies.
    Lisa {Smart Food & Fit}’s last post: How to Choose the Best Yogurt for Your Family

  5. This is absolutely my go to comfort meal. Great recipe and how-tos throughout.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Banana Ginger Breakfast Cookies

  6. I just love roast chicken, although I usually make mine in the slow-cooker. This looks fabulous!

  7. Sounds so perfect for this yucky cold winter day!
    Wenderly’s last post: Nutella Fudge Brownies

  8. Mmmmmm, I made a roast chicken last night. I like to butter mine under the skin with herbs and garlic and lemon powder added in, then just salt and pepper the inside. I can never seem to get them to cook through right when I put veggies inside and have to take them out to finish. Just getting ready to strain the chicken broth that’s been in the crock pot all night. Now if I could just come up with more ways to use up the leftover picked chicken meat…
    hobby baker’s last post: Walter Sands Basic White Bread – KAF

  9. My favorite go-to, comfort meal is pinto beans and cornbread. I use Tsh’s crockpot pinto beans recipe (absolutely amazing and this from a southerner) and make green chile cornbread with homemade coleslaw. Absolutely delicious! And…great leftover though you can also make “refried” beans out of the leftover beans as well.

  10. This is a classic for a reason, it’s super simple but super impressive. I learned how to make this from my mother who learned from her mother, it’s just one of those recipes that every family should have. And of course you can never go wrong with one of Elizabeth’s recipes, she’s the best!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: french vegetable soup the soup that changed my mind

  11. I adore roast chicken and I do find myself making it sometimes just for the leftovers. I find a simple bowl of chicken and barley soup so comforting.
    Melissa’s last post: Souper Bowl Party-Split Pea Soup

  12. I make this once a week, every Sunday! It’s inexpensive and everyone in my family loves at least something about it. We don’t get much leftover with a family of 5, but I always reserve some of the chicken for taco Tuesday at our house. I also save the bones to make weekly chicken stock, with just a few vegetables and spices. I may not always use all the stock, but it’s always available and cost next to nothing.

  13. Roasted chicken is a favorite at our house, too! It’s such a low maintenance dish – I love it!
    Jennifer’s last post: Create More Counter Space Without Spending a Dime

  14. A perfect comfort food and a regular meal around our house since everyone loves it so much!
    Robyn | Add a Pinch’s last post: Lemon Curd Recipe

  15. This is probably a stupid question, but do you have to put the chicken on a rack?

  16. Stephanie says:

    I have the world’s lamest question, but when people say they save the bones for stock, are these the bones that their family has picked over at the dinner table? If so, how do you all go about it, just have a bowl to toss the bones after you’ve finished eating say the drumstick? I guess boiling kills germs?

  17. Hi Stephanie, no question is too lame for me! I do use all the bones, so yes, the ones people have picked over. I boil my stock overnight on the lowest setting and then freeze it. I can’t say I’ve ever worried about germs after such a long boil, but you could always carve the chicken first before serving, reserving the bones for stock without having to use the ones people have eaten off of.
    Elizabeth’s last post: {Guest Post: Stephanie of Global Dish} Rustic Plum and Peach Pie

  18. Stephanie says:

    Thanks Elizabeth. I don’t mind using the bones people have eaten off of, but just wondered if that’s what others do. And now I know. Thanks!

  19. This sounds yummy however I would not recumbent leaving raw chicken out on a counter for 2 hours bacteria will start to grow. You have to be careful especially with chicken and turkey….salmonella

  20. Classic Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
    by ELIZABETH on FEBRUARY 2, 2011
    in DINNER · 29 COMMENTS

    Written by Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen

    If there’s one thing that must be eaten at least weekly in our house it is this simple, rustic dish of roasted chicken and root vegetables. Why? You ask. Well for one, it usually leaves substantial enough leftovers for lunches to be made for whomever desires them. Another reason is because, contrary to its appearance, it’s amazingly simple and quick to make.

    Getting home from work at a somewhat late afternoon time doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have time to make a wonderfully satisfying dinner that will suit just about anybody’s needs. Roasted chicken, as per this recipe, can be done in no time at all and come out unfailingly moist and succulent on the inside while creating that crackly, perfectly crisp skin on the outside.

    ALL photos by Elizabeth Nyland

    The root vegetables are an inexpensive, filling and ultimately healthy side dish and cook up quite well in the time the chicken needs to be perfect. Even if you timed it wrong or cut up your vegetables too large to cook evenly, the chicken deserves its 20 minutes of rest before carving. Ample time to allow the undercooked vegetables to be done without anyone the wiser.

    The other beauty of this recipe is that it can be done in varying ways. It works equally good for goose and turkey (see above picture) and can even be used with cut up chicken pieces which are usually a bargain at most grocery stores (see below pictures).

    Time and time again I have impressed friends and family alike with finger lickin’ good chicken with little to no effort. Once the vegetables are cut up, the chicken stuffed, rubbed and inserted into the oven, all you have to do is pour yourself a glass of wine, set some vegetables to steam and take a seat on the couch. You could also pair it with a light salad if you’re feeling fancy.

    Recipe: Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
    1 3-5lb. roasting chicken **
    4 small sprigs each fresh rosemary (or thyme, sage, oregano, etc.)
    6 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
    1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup or so of grapeseed or macadamia nut oil
    kosher or sea salt
    freshly ground pepper
    1 small sweet potato
    2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
    2 large carrots, peeled
    1 large sweet onion
    1. Two hours before you begin, take the chicken out of the refrigerator to bring it up to room temperature. Tip: Always start cooking meat from room temperature as it ensures even cooking throughout.

    2. Dry chicken inside and out with paper towels (alternately you can leave it in the fridge uncovered for a day as well and really dry it out) and season the cavity with coarse salt and pepper.

    3. Put two sprigs of rosemary, 4 cloves of the squashed garlic and 1/2 a lemon into the cavity. Set the bird on a platter breast side up and rub with oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip the bird over and repeat on the back and legs.

    4. Preheat your oven for 425°F. Meanwhile, cut up your vegetables into large chunks about 1 1/2″ square. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the remaining herbs, garlic and about an 1/8 of a cup of grapeseed or macadamia nut oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in a large, deep roasting dish. Uncover an area in the center for the chicken.

    5. Place chicken in center of roasting dish, back side up. That’s right, back side up (as in breast side down). Tip: Believe me, this will create a most succulent of breasts and the best crunchy skin ever. Roast in 425°F oven for 25-35 minutes (more towards the 35 minute mark if the bird is closer to 5 pounds), then turn the oven down to 375°F and roast for an additional 60-75 minutes.

    Chicken is done when internal temperature (measured at the thickest part of the thigh) reaches 165°F… though I prefer to go a little higher to 180°F. I find that the meat next to the legs and thighs needs that extra temperature to be completely cooked through. Don’t worry it won’t be dry, I promise.

    7. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set on a wooden board to rest for 20 minutes. If the vegetables are not yet done, return them to oven and continue to roast while chicken rests.

    8. Carve your chicken and serve with accompanying vegetables or salad to round out the meal.

    ** Variations:
    Turkey: Follow all steps the same until #6. Leave an 8-12lb. turkey or goose in the 425°F oven for at least 45 minutes. Then turn down and check temperature after 1 hour. When it reaches at least 165°F, it’s done!
    Legs and Thighs: Follow the directions accordingly, but cook for only 20 minutes at 425°F and then for approximately 35 minutes at 375°F. Use a thermometer to check doneness or if you trust your self, wiggle a leg. It should be quite loose feeling if done right.
    What is your go-to comfort food? Do you ever prepare a meal just for the leftovers?

    Editor’s note: Sadly, this will be Elizabeth’s last post as a contributor on Simple Bites as she is launching a new business among other endeavours. We want to wish her all the best in that new adventure! You can still follow her culinary creations over at Guilty Kitchen. Liz, thank you for being a part of Simple Bites. You will be missed!.

    { TOP IMAGE CREDIT }
    About Elizabeth
    On her blog, Guilty Kitchen, Elizabeth writes about the joys of local food, buying sustainable and feeling much too guilty after indulging in too many rich desserts.
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    Roasting Vegetables 101: Simple, Seasonal Side Dishes

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    Comments
    Jan @Family Bites says:
    February 2, 2011 at 7:25 am
    Our favourite comfort food is chicken pot pie. We adore it and often make extra for leftovers.

    Reply
    Aimee says:
    February 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    Thanks for the reminder, it’s been way to long since I made that!

    Reply
    Kara says:
    February 2, 2011 at 8:43 am
    Seems like every meal has leftovers! But chilli is the only dish where I purposely plan to have leftovers; sometimes I think it’s better the second, or third, time around.

    Reply
    Aimee says:
    February 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm
    Agreed! My chocolate-chip chili is definitely better on the second or third day.

    Reply
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) says:
    February 2, 2011 at 8:49 am
    I make a recipe almost exactly like this one – at least once a week! I don’t like to eat a lot of meat/poultry, so I usually mix a can or two of chickpeas into the vegetables. Yum.
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)’s last post: Creamy Roast Vegetable Soup

    Reply
    Lisa {Smart Food & Fit} says:
    February 2, 2011 at 9:27 am
    I make a similar recipe just like this one. I agree it’s very comforting and very nourishing too. I have also made it in a crock pot too, turned out pretty good except you don’t get the golden brown crispiness on some parts of the chicken and root veggies.
    Lisa {Smart Food & Fit}’s last post: How to Choose the Best Yogurt for Your Family

    Reply
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says:
    February 2, 2011 at 9:43 am
    This is absolutely my go to comfort meal. Great recipe and how-tos throughout.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Banana Ginger Breakfast Cookies

    Reply
    Tracy says:
    February 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    I just love roast chicken, although I usually make mine in the slow-cooker. This looks fabulous!

    Reply
    Wenderly says:
    February 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Sounds so perfect for this yucky cold winter day!
    Wenderly’s last post: Nutella Fudge Brownies

    Reply
    hobby baker says:
    February 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm
    Mmmmmm, I made a roast chicken last night. I like to butter mine under the skin with herbs and garlic and lemon powder added in, then just salt and pepper the inside. I can never seem to get them to cook through right when I put veggies inside and have to take them out to finish. Just getting ready to strain the chicken broth that’s been in the crock pot all night. Now if I could just come up with more ways to use up the leftover picked chicken meat…
    hobby baker’s last post: Walter Sands Basic White Bread – KAF

    Reply
    Elizabeth says:
    February 3, 2011 at 10:23 am
    That sounds wonderful. So much flavour I bet in that broth!
    Elizabeth’s last post: Fish Curry

    Reply
    Lise says:
    February 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm
    My favorite go-to, comfort meal is pinto beans and cornbread. I use Tsh’s crockpot pinto beans recipe (absolutely amazing and this from a southerner) and make green chile cornbread with homemade coleslaw. Absolutely delicious! And…great leftover though you can also make “refried” beans out of the leftover beans as well.

    Reply
    Aimee says:
    February 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    Sounds just great. I don’t remember that recipe from Tsh, I’ll have to go back in the archives.

    Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:
    February 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm
    This is a classic for a reason, it’s super simple but super impressive. I learned how to make this from my mother who learned from her mother, it’s just one of those recipes that every family should have. And of course you can never go wrong with one of Elizabeth’s recipes, she’s the best!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: french vegetable soup the soup that changed my mind

    Reply
    Elizabeth says:
    February 3, 2011 at 10:24 am
    Thank you very much Sylvie, I appreciate that!
    Elizabeth’s last post: Fish Curry

    Reply
    Melissa says:
    February 3, 2011 at 12:17 am
    I adore roast chicken and I do find myself making it sometimes just for the leftovers. I find a simple bowl of chicken and barley soup so comforting.
    Melissa’s last post: Souper Bowl Party-Split Pea Soup

    Reply
    Lori says:
    February 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm
    I make this once a week, every Sunday! It’s inexpensive and everyone in my family loves at least something about it. We don’t get much leftover with a family of 5, but I always reserve some of the chicken for taco Tuesday at our house. I also save the bones to make weekly chicken stock, with just a few vegetables and spices. I may not always use all the stock, but it’s always available and cost next to nothing.

    Reply
    Jennifer says:
    February 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm
    Roasted chicken is a favorite at our house, too! It’s such a low maintenance dish – I love it!
    Jennifer’s last post: Create More Counter Space Without Spending a Dime

    Reply
    Robyn | Add a Pinch says:
    February 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm
    A perfect comfort food and a regular meal around our house since everyone loves it so much!
    Robyn | Add a Pinch’s last post: Lemon Curd Recipe

    Reply
    Cathy says:
    February 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    This is probably a stupid question, but do you have to put the chicken on a rack?

    Reply
    Elizabeth says:
    February 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    Questions are never stupid Cathy! But no, you definitely do not need a rack in this case. If you choose to roast the chicken alone, a rack is a definite must have, but with the vegetables there’s no need for one!
    Elizabeth’s last post: Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

    Reply
    Stephanie says:
    August 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm
    I have the world’s lamest question, but when people say they save the bones for stock, are these the bones that their family has picked over at the dinner table? If so, how do you all go about it, just have a bowl to toss the bones after you’ve finished eating say the drumstick? I guess boiling kills germs?

    Reply
    Elizabeth says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    Hi Stephanie, no question is too lame for me! I do use all the bones, so yes, the ones people have picked over. I boil my stock overnight on the lowest setting and then freeze it. I can’t say I’ve ever worried about germs after such a long boil, but you could always carve the chicken first before serving, reserving the bones for stock without having to use the ones people have eaten off of.
    Elizabeth’s last post: {Guest Post: Stephanie of Global Dish} Rustic Plum and Peach Pie

    Reply
    Stephanie says:
    August 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm
    Thanks Elizabeth. I don’t mind using the bones people have eaten off of, but just wondered if that’s what others do. And now I know. Thanks!

    Reply
    Donna says:
    September 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm
    This sounds yummy however I would not recommend leaving raw chicken out on a counter for 2 hours bacteria will start to grow. You have to be careful especially with chicken and turkey….salmonella

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