There are few meals that deliver such high rewards for minimal effort than a roast chicken. It takes just a few minutes’ work to prep a bird and get it into the oven, and it’s about the same effort to roast two; leftovers are infinitely useful in sandwiches, salads, pasta, casseroles, curries – just about every recipe that starts with sautéed skinless, boneless chicken breasts can be made with chopped leftover roasted chicken. Best of all, every bird comes with a free batch of homemade stock, perfect for chicken soup.
Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Vegetables
1 3–4 lb whole chicken
canola or olive oil
salt and pepper
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium thin-skinned potatoes, quartered or cut into large chunks
4–5 garlic cloves, peeled
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and put it into a roasting pan, baking dish or cast iron skillet breast side up. Drizzle with oil and rub it all over the surface of the chicken with your fingers. Season with salt and pepper and slide it into the oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it with any pan juices while you add the carrots, potatoes and garlic to the pan around it, tossing them in the drippings as well. (If there aren’t many, drizzle the veggies with oil and toss them around in the pan.) Return to the
oven for 45–60 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the joints wiggle in their sockets. (If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh should read 165˚F.)
Carve the chicken right in the pan, and serve with the veggies and pan juices. Serves 4.
Per serving: 230 calories, 11.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 6.4 g monounsaturated fat, 3.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate, 8.7 g protein, 3.3 g fibre.
Homemade Chicken Soup
Put the chicken carcass into a pot and add water to almost cover it. Add some celery and carrots, including celery leaves and carrot ends. Onion skins will make a dark stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about half an hour. (For clear stock, strain at this point, reserving any chunks of chicken and refrigerate for up to four days or freeze for up to six months.)
To make chicken noodle soup, cook egg noodles according to package directions. Toss in a diced carrot and frozen peas for the last few minutes of cooking time.
Drain pasta/veggie combo and add to warm chicken stock with reserved chunks of chicken. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of thyme.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Nov/Dec 2016.