Saturday, December 16, 2006

Classic Butter Roasted Chicken with Herbs and Roasted Vegetables


* 1 whole 4 1/2-to-5-pound chicken
* 6 whole rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish
* 1 pound (about 8 to 10) baby new potatoes
* 12 baby carrots, lightly peeled or scrubbed
* 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
* 1 whole lemon, 2 holes poked through the skin
* 4 parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 bunch parsley, cleaned, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold running water; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Chop enough rosemary to make 2 tablespoons (about 3 sprigs). In a large bowl, combine the chicken, potatoes and carrots. Add the butter, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss well.

Place the whole lemon and 3 rosemary sprigs inside the cavity of the bird. With kitchen string, tie the legs together.

Put the potatoes, carrots and parsnips on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan. Place the chicken right on top of the vegetables. (This will both flavor the vegetables and act as a rack for the chicken.) Roast for 20 minutes in the oven. Add half of the chicken broth to the pan and baste the chicken with the juices from the pan. Continue roasting, basting 1 or 2 more times using the additional broth. The chicken is done when the temperature on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175 to 180 degrees F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with the tip of a knife, about 80 minutes. The vegetables should be very tender and give easily when a fork is inserted into them. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving the chicken.

Place the chicken to one side of a platter and arrange the vegetables on the other. Tuck a small bunch of parsley between the chicken legs and arrange the remaining parsley over the vegetables in single sprigs. Pull some of the parsnips from the bottom and lay them on an angle on top of the vegetables. Carving at the table is required, so have a cutting board on the table alongside the platter, and, if needed, remove the chicken to the cutting board to carve.

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