Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken


I'd never made a roast chicken before this, but I'm pretty sure I'm the authority now. Well, technically Ina Garten's the authority because she told me what to do for the most part — I tinkered with her recipe only a little bit.

I cannot stress how good (and cheap) this was. I like playing with spices and herbs a lot, but this recipe only has a handful of ingredients. It is an edible statement of how the simple way is sometimes the best way.

It was well-worth the giblet-induced dry heaving (don't worry, I recovered and then thought about making giblet gravy, but I think I'll work up to that).

Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken - Adapted

Paleo + Whole30 approved

  • a whole chicken
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • big bunch of fresh thyme (one herb package from the grocery store works), plus 20 sprigs for the veggies
  • a bunch of rosemary (3-5 sprigs)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 lemon sliced into rings
  • 1 head of garlic cloves
  • a bunch of carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 bulb fennel, with the tops removed and cut into wedges
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line your baking pan with foil and the lemon slices. Toss the veggies with olive oil, thyme (about 20 sprigs worth), salt and pepper and throw them in to your big baking pan. Prep the chicken by removing the giblets (ew, but necessary), rinsing the chicken inside and out and then patting it dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff with whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary, plus the lemon halves and garlic cloves. Truss the chicken with a string (video tutorial). Rub the chicken skin with olive oil, salt and pepper and then set on top of the veggies. Roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cover with a foil tent and let rest for 20 minutes (obviously check to make sure it's cooked through first if you're not sure). Carve and EAT.

Thoughts, ideas and other uses:

  • If you were to brine this bird first, even more GUH.
  • As far as veggie amounts go, just fill up your baking dish about 1/3-1/2 from the bottom. The veggies are amazing, and the original recipe only calls for four carrots... not enough, in my book.
  • For herbs, I ended up buying one package of thyme and one of poultry herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage mix). I just set the sage aside to use in soup and that left me with all the herbs needed for this chicken.
  • Make paleo giblet gravy using the cooked/chopped giblets, meat juices at the bottom of the pan, arrowroot powder, etc. Nomnom.
  • The original recipe called for 1.5 hours of roasting time, but I'm glad I accidentally took this out 10 minutes early so it didn't dry out. It was a big bird too. That said, everybody's oven is different.
  • Here's a handy carving tutorial (with a French accent, because of course).
  • Leftovers! The leftovers are totally delicious as is, but if you want to switch it up you now have chicken ready to throw in to a curry chicken salad, tacos, chili, tamales, etc.