Best Roast Chicken + Two Salads

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I make this roast chicken a bunch! In the winter I roast it right over veggies in the roasting pan – potatoes, carrots, onion, fennel – then make a pan sauce while it rests before carving. This time of year I actually make it to have quick weeknight dinners. With baseball, softball and art classes in full swing, plus my husbands building our shore house while holding a full time job, I need all the easy and quick meals I can get.

My husband will just tear off chunks and eat on the fly. My kids like the chicken warmed with a side of salad greens or broccoli. I love this roast chicken tossed over a simple salad of baby greens, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and garlic vinaigrette, or mixed with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chopped apple, toasted walnuts and served over a dressed kale salad.

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For the Best Roast Chicken:

1 5 to 6 pound organic “roaster” chicken

1/2 lemon

1 head of garlic ends sliced off

1 handful fresh thyme

1 handful fresh rosemary

2 tbs unsalted butter, softened (I used garlic parsley butter I had leftover from garlic bread)

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat oven to 425. Remove giblets from inside chicken. Rinse and dry the chicken, inside and out. Remove any excess fat or pinfeathers. Place chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff with the lemon, garlic and herbs. Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wings and tie the legs.

Roast for 1 and 1/2 hours or until juices run clear when you cut between leg and thigh.

Baby Greens with Roast Chicken, Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and Garlic Vinaigrette

Baby Greens with Roast Chicken, Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and Garlic Vinaigrette

Roast Chicken Salad with Apples.Toasted Walnuts, Tarragon and Kale

Roast Chicken Salad with Apples.Toasted Walnuts, Tarragon and Kale

Plays well with others: In addition to the options already discussed, you could use this roast chicken in soup, in quesadillas, on top of pizza. Make it yourself and share your ideas in the comment section at the end of this post. I would love to see what you come up with!

 

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