Here, we dry brine the bird with salt overnight for a perfectly juicy result with golden skin, but if you’re short on time, you can skip that step. Make sure to follow the directions for the size of the chicken as a larger bird will make it challenging to lift in and out of the oven with the weight of the cast-iron skillet. Garnish with lemon slices for a pretty presentation.
Buy The Bird
Chicken breasts may be the centerpiece of many better-for-you-recipes, but selecting a whole chicken over parts can save you money – buying your bird this way generally costs less than $2 a pound – while providing you with the option of dark meat, which has almost twice the iron of light meat.
- Prep Time
CHICKEN & VEGETABLES
- 1 3½-to 4-lb whole chicken, patted dry
- 1 tsp sea salt + additional to taste
- 1 lb rainbow carrots, scrubbed, cut into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peel on
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon (NOTE: Zest and juice to yield 1 tsp each zest and juice; reserve remaining lemon halves to stuff chicken.)
- ¼ cup organic unsalted butter, room temperature (TRY: Horizon Organic Unsalted Butter)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives or tarragon
- ¼ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
1. Place chicken on a large plate; season all over with salt. Tie legs together with twine. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or overnight.
2. Prepare chive butter: In a bowl, combine all butter ingredients; stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Cover and refrigerate. (MAKE AHEAD: Make chive butter up to 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Let butter stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before use.) Reserve lemon halves.
3. Preheat oven to 425ºF; place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven as it heats. Place carrots, onion and garlic in a large bowl; toss with half of softened butter. Season with additional salt and pepper. Fill chicken cavity with reserved lemon halves. Rub chicken with remaining compound butter, gently going under skin as well as on top of it. Carefully remove skillet from oven; spread vegetables evenly. Place chicken on top. Roast until vegetables are very tender and caramelized and chicken is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer placed in thickest part of thigh and breast should read 165ºF), 60 to 70 minutes, carefully tilting chicken up with tongs and stirring vegetables once or twice during roasting time.
4. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; tent with foil and rest for 15 minutes. Squeeze garlic out of skins, mash and stir into vegetables. Transfer vegetables to a serving platter; cover to keep warm. Carve chicken and place on platter with vegetables.
- Serving Size: ¼ of recipe
- Calories: 654
- Carbohydrate Content: 14 g
- Cholesterol Content: 201 mg
- Fat Content: 42 g
- Fiber Content: 4 g
- Protein Content: 54 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 16 g
- Sodium Content: 844 mg
- Sugar Content: 8 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content: 16 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 7 g