Thursday, June 2, 2011

Janice's Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Veggies

This has been a family favorite since the kids were little.  It always amazed me that they would eat something with such an exotic spice as tarragon, but they just loved it. This time I decided to roast it on a bed of vegetables which browned to caramelized perfection. Use any veggie you might prefer.

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Roots Veggies

I forgot to take a pic before eating, but boy was it good!
Serves 6 (calories 409 ea complete meal serving)


1 whole roasting chicken approximately 4-5 pounds but don't fret the size, just get a good bird, preferably one humanely raised with natural food and without hormones and all that stuff that processors inject into the meat of chicken - things that we do not need to eat.

1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried tarragon
1/4 t white pepper
1 onion - with skin on
1 peeled carrot cut into thirds
1 whole stalk celery with leaves cut into thirds
1 sweet red pepper, cut into chunks
2 baking potatoes, peel cut into large chunks
4 peeled carrots, cut into large chunks
8 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 C canola oil - I use canola oil for this dish because it is a more "neutral" in flavor which lets the "chicken" flavor come through more clearly than any other oil.
fresh cracked black pepper


Remove the thawed chicken from the fridge an hour to hour and a half before cooking to bring to room temperature. A room temp bird cooks faster than one that is still cold!

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Remove the "goodies" from the bird and discard or freeze the neck to make stock one day. Wipe the bird inside and out with paper towel. You really should not rinse the bird, but if you must as so many of us were trained to do, do so quickly. Rinsing causes the chicken to lose flavor, so do reconsider rinsing.

Remove the fat pieces from the cavity entrance and reserve. Sprinkle the cavity with seasonings and rub thoroughly. Lightly fill cavity with the the exterior few sections of the onion including the skin (flavors the meat), the carrot cut into thirds, and celery. Rub the birdie with a T of canola oil and sprinkle a bit more tarragon and white pepper on the outside of the bird.

Peel and cut the remaining veges and the rough chop rest of the onion sections. Place in a bowl with the 1/4 cup of canola oil, sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper, and toss. Spread the veggies in a large roaster pan - either non-stick or one lined with foil. Make an area in the center to serve as a "nest" for the bird and place the bird breast side up in the nest. If you are a chicken trusser you can do so now, I'm not and my chickens always turn out awesome!

Lay the reserved pieces of fat on top of the bird. If calories are not a concern, put a pat of butter underneath the fat and a couple under the skin which adds wonderful flavor and helps crisp the skin. Look up the calories for the butter at Calorie Count!

Roast for 25 minutes at 475. Lower the temperature to 400 and continue roasting for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your bird. Test the bird at the meatiest part with an instant read meat thermometer - it should read 160. If it does not continue roasting until it does and check the temp frequently. The juices will run clear when it is done.

Then remove the beautiful thing from the oven and allow to rest tented in foil for 15-20 minutes on a carving surface. Cover the veggies with foil to keep them warm. This is the time to bake the biscuits! When the chicken is being carved, scoop the veggies out of the pan into a serving bowl. Finally and enjoy!...Wait! Don't forget the biscuits in the oven!

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