Roasted Whole Chicken with Winter Root Vegetables
- One 4 to 4 1/2 pound chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs, stems removed and minced
- 3 medium-sized beets, ends cut and discarded, skin peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 3 medium-sized rutabagas, ends cut and discarded, skin peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 2 medium-sized turnips, prepared the same way as the rutabagas
- 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch segments
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- About 1/3 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
- Kitchen string
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss beets, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch each (1 teaspoon) salt and pepper.
- Layer evenly on the bottom of a large caste-iron pan.
- Bind the chicken with kitchen string. To do so, start by cutting a 3-foot section of cotton kitchen string. Place the chicken so that it is breast up, and the legs pointing toward you. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken. Wrap the string under the neck end of the bird, pulling the string ends up over the breast, toward you, plumping up the breast. Then cross the string under the breast (above the cavity and between the legs). Wrap each end around the closest leg end, and tie tightly so that the legs come together.
- Place the bird so that the wings face down and legs up towards you onto the bed of root vegetables. Brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add a pinch each (1 teaspoon) of salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast at 450 for 25 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, it will be very juicy so use aluminum foil to catch any excess liquid. Let the check sit for 20 minutes before carving and serving. You can keep the vegetables warm by keeping them in the now-turned-off oven while the chicken is resting. Stir to coat the vegetables with the cooking juices before serving
- Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Place vegetables on a serving platter with the chicken pieces arranged on top.