by The Barefoot Contessa
1 (5 to 6 lb.) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. (I don't want to brag but the thyme is from my very own herb garden :) )
Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil.
Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
I've made this recipe plenty of times throughout the past couple of years, so why did it turn out different this time? My "Perfect" Roast Chicken turned out great but the vegetables weren't "perfect". A lot of them......some of them came out close to perfect (pictured) and they're the ones that came out caramelized just right, soft, very tender and juicy. The rest of them well, it's a sad story.....they didn't make it. There's several reasons and here's why: I should of added more carrots; I used a bigger bird than what the recipe asked for; I used a new pan I hadn't used before, I left directions with my hubby to pop it in the oven (he did exactly what I told him to do so none of this is his fault), I wasn't home to keep a close eye on it, I really should of waited to cook this on the weekend. But other than that, the chicken was VERY, VERY tasty and delicious. If you've never cooked with fennel, don't be afraid to. The flavors when blended in with the meat juices gives a savory flavor like none other. I am a fan of fennel from this point on and my Perfect Roast Chicken & vegies. ~isavortheweekend