Roast Chicken and Tangy Root Vegetables

I’m back from a vacation; cooler weather has descended on central Virginia; root vegetables are coming in at the farmers’ markets.  Sounds like time for stews and chilis and roasts, and of course, roast chicken.  Always roast chicken.  I rarely manage to plan for enough ahead to brine the chicken so as per usual this is a chicken with a spice rub.  And as per usual I only paid a little attention as I went so I’ll do my best to duplicate the formula here.

Just a couple of reminders about roasting chicken.  Dont feel like you always have to do a whole chicken.  I just did two large chicken breasts this time.  That way I have a shot at finishing it before I lose interest in it.  It will turn out best if your chicken is still on the bone and still has the skin on it.  That will keep it moist as it cooks.  Leaving the skin on will keep the spice rub in place too.  for the rub you’re looking for a paste consistency.  That will also help it stay in place. 

Speaking of the rub, that’s really what distinguishes one roast chicken from another around here.  Here’s what I used tonight:  kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, lemon zest, olive oil and my current favorite spice, smoked paprika.  I used equal parts of everything except 2x of the paprika.  Add just enough oil to make a paste.  Loosen the skin on one side and rub the paste under the skin, leaving it in place. 

For the vegetables I used turnips, red potatoes, onions and carrots.  Cut everything in large chunks and arrange them in the pan around the chicken.  Some of the spice rub will drip down into the pan with the vegetables.  Yum.  You can leave the vegetables just in the chicken and spice drippings and they’ll be really good.  Or you can scoop the vegetables into a bowl and add a little dressing for some variety.  On the vegetables I used a dressing of dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and fresh chives.  Very tangy and very light.

This was a really good early Fall dinner.  And really good leftovers.  I’m sure there will be dozens more variations on this theme, but this one is worth checking out.

Good? Yep.
Easy? Yep. The oven does all the work.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Nope.

Roast Chicken and Tangy Root Vegetables


3/4 t kosher salt
3/4 t black pepper
3/4 t dried thyme
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
zest of 1 lemon
1-2 t olive oil
2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
3 turnips, peeled and quartered
5-6 small red potatoes, quartered
2 onions, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 T dijon mustard
2 T white wine vinegar
2 T chopped fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, forming a paste. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and rub the paste under the skin, then on the outside of the chicken.  Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan surrounded by the vegetables.  Roast about an hour, stirring the vegetables occasionally.  Remove the chicken from the pan and let rest.  Roast the vegetables another 10 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the dijon, vinegar and chives.  Remove the vegetables from the roasting pan with a slotted spoon so the roasting liquids remain in the pan.  In a large bowl toss the vegetables and dressing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: