Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Impress your guests when you present this juicy roast chicken on a bed of root vegetables, served in a cast iron pan. It’s an easy one-pan roast chicken dish.

Keller's Roast Chicken
Elise Bauer

Roast Chicken Recipe From the Best

Adapted from Thomas Keller's Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables in Ad Hoc at Home.

Thomas Keller is most known for his landmark 3 Michelin star restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California. French Laundry food is famously exquisite, requiring an insane amount of preparation for each dish.

For those patrons who want the Keller touch without the fuss, he has another restaurant in the area, ad hoc, which is known for its home cooking, done incredibly well.

Out of the restaurant came the cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home which made its way to our home a while back and into my father's hands.

Normally my dad shows only a mild interest in the various cookbooks that come our way (unless it's a cookbook featuring sauerkraut and pork, in which case he's all over it), but this time, not only did dear old dad read the book cover to cover twice, but he enthusiastically tackled Keller's roast chicken with root vegetables, cooked in a cast iron pan.

(I'm guessing it's because the recipe calls for rutabagas and turnips, dad's favorite food group next to sauerkraut and pork.)

But for whatever reason, this roast chicken recipe is now the only way dad will roast a chicken.

roast chicken
Elise Bauer

How to Roast Chicken? Practice Makes Perfect

This roast chicken recipe may seem a little involved because you are cooking a whole chicken, but once you get the hang of it, it's dead easy.

Cooking a whole chicken takes practice. The first time dad made this roast chicken dish there was a bit of howling from the kitchen as he tried to get the wishbone out (of the raw whole chicken), or as he attempted to truss the chicken without the drumsticks slipping out of the string.

But the results are just so darn good, he kept at it and now puts it together easily.

Making in Roast Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron conducts heat efficiently. Using one for this recipe will help roast the chicken evenly while the vegetables become tender with crispy, caramelized bits where they touched the skillet.

If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use a roasting pan without its lid or a sheet pan.

Do You Need to Debone and Truss the Chicken?

For a pretty presentation, these steps are helpful, but they aren't necessary for this recipe to be successful. Trussing the chicken makes for more even roasting so you may choose to keep this step. Removing the wishbone before roasting simply makes it easier to carve the breast meat — and it can be tricky to do — so skip this step if easy carving isn't important to you.

When is the Roast Chicken Ready?

Once in the oven, this dish takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook, but oven temperatures can vary. Remove the chicken from the oven when a digital meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F.

Sides to Serve with This Simple Roast Chicken

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 70 mins
Resting 20 mins
Total Time 115 mins
Servings 4 servings

Adapted from Thomas Keller's Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables in Ad Hoc at Home.

What Keller recommends (and what we do) is to leave the chicken in the refrigerator, uncovered (on a plate and not touching anything else in the fridge), for 1-2 days after buying it, so that the skin gets a bit dried out. It will roast up crispier this way.

Then 1 1/2 to 2 hours before it goes in the oven, we put it on a plate on the kitchen counter to come to room temp (about 70 degrees).

Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken before you set it out to come to room temp. (Save for stock.)

Note that Keller's original recipe calls for a leek (to be cooked with the root vegetables), which we skip in our adaptation.

The chicken must be at room temperature before it goes in the oven, or the chicken will not cook evenly.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2) pound chicken

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled (smash with the side of a chef's knife, makes it easier to peel)

  • 6 sprigs thyme

  • 3 medium rutabagas, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

  • 2 medium turnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch segments

  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, roots trimmed but kept intact, cut into quarters

  • 8 small red-skinned new potatoes

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature (spreadable)

Method

  1. Let the chicken come to room temperature:

    The chicken must be at room temperature before it goes in the oven, or the chicken will not cook evenly.

  2. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 475°F.

  3. Cut away the wishbone:

    Use a paring knife to cut away the wishbone from the neck/breast area of the chicken. You will probably have to use your fingers to feel around for it.

    This is a little bit tricky, but if you can remove the wishbone first, it will make the chicken easier to carve after it is cooked. (This ease of future carving is the only reason to take the bone out, so you can leave it in if you want.)

  4. Season the cavity:

    Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add three of the garlic cloves and the sprigs of thyme to the cavity, using your hands to rub the thyme and garlic all around the cavity.

  5. Truss the chicken:

    Cut 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.

    cooking a whole chicken - roasted chicken and vegetables
    Elise Bauer
    Cooking a whole chicken - Thomas Keller roasted chicken recipe
    Elise Bauer

    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.

    Cooking a whole chicken - truss the chicken
    Elise Bauer
    How to roast chicken - truss the chicken
    Elise Bauer
  6. Toss the vegetables with olive oil:

    Place the vegetables, onions, garlic, and remaining thyme sprig into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and toss with your hands until well coated. Season generously with salt and pepper.

    Create a bed of the root vegetables in a large cast iron pan (or use a regular roasting pan if you don't have a cast iron pan.) My father likes to leave out the potatoes at this stage and arrange them around the chicken.

  7. Slather the chicken with oil and season:

    Spread the remaining olive oil over the chicken skin. Season with salt and pepper.

    How to roast chicken - slather in oil
    Elise Bauer
    Cooking a whole chicken - roasted chicken and vegetables
    Elise Bauer
  8. Place the chicken in skillet:

    Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables. Slather the top of the chicken breasts with butter. (Note that we added some extra sprigs of thyme to the top, probably because my dad forgot to add them to the vegetables! But it still worked.)

    Preparing vegetables for Thomas Keller roasted chicken
    Elise Bauer
    Cast iron roast chicken - cooking a whole chicken
    Elise Bauer
  9. Roast in the oven:

    Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 25 minutes at 475°F. Then reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.

    Cast iron roast chicken with vegetables in oven
    Elise Bauer
  10. Cover and let rest on cutting board:

    Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving to serve.

    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

  11. Cut the chicken into serving pieces:

    Place vegetables on a serving platter with the chicken pieces arranged on top.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1185 Calories
45g Fat
136g Carbs
62g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1185
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 346mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 136g 49%
Dietary Fiber 19g 69%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 62g
Vitamin C 136mg 682%
Calcium 259mg 20%
Iron 9mg 49%
Potassium 4138mg 88%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.