Oh my goodness, friends, today is my day. While you’re reading this brand new recipe, I’m doing one last review of all the words for my next cookbook. While you’re reading this post, I’m nervous about pressing send. Should I just do it? I should just do it, right? You tell me what to do and I’ll tell you about Roast Citrus Chicken with Vegetable Gems.
I’ve made this Roast Citrus Chicken with Vegetable Gems about three times since the new year, not because I crave chicken but because I crave my community and my community loves a good roast chicken. I’m not sure if it’s a reminder of home or if wherever you are instantly becomes home when a roast chicken is placed between you all. Whatever it is, gathering around a big platter of something that’s hot, tender, and crusted with roasted bits makes for instant family to me.
Since I don’t make chicken often — except when I’m testing a new recipe for friendly crowds, right? — I try to buy a very good one. I always spend my dollars on an organic chicken, one that hasn’t been injected with antibiotics or hormones. Ideally, the bird has had a pretty good life, roaming free, up until that last moment, because of course.
Listen, I hope it’s okay that we talk about all that because we’re adults. It’s totally smart to be a little bit real. Ask your butcher all the questions. Don’t be shy, you work hard for the money. [If you live near Boston, I order these birds once per year (you have to get on their list in advance). If you live elsewhere, these are the cream of the crop and they ship.]
You do you and choose an assortment of vegetables that gets you all hot and bothered, especially if you are foregoing the crowds and making this for Valentine’s Day (because you know it worked for these royals). I like to move past potatoes and mix in unusual ones that don’t often get to sit next to a star like Roast Citrus Chicken. I do think the squash and carrots go really nicely with the oranges and lemons — if possible, don’t skip those. Plus, you need those if you want to flex these little second and third dinner tricks…
Second dinner: Blend two cups of leftover veg, including squash and carrots (exclude any citrus), with a cup or two of any stock to make a gorgeous, bright soup. I have a few tubs of this soup in my freezer and warm it for lunch.
Third dinner: Make chicken stock with that leftover carcass — because no food left behind, folks. Warm the chicken stock with fresh noodles or rice and some sliced vegetables for another super fast meal. Like, lightning speed.
Okay, I’m going to press send. Wait, I want to rewrite it all. No, I need to just press send. The sooner I press send, the sooner I can gather all my friends together for a mini-celebration to say adios to the manuscript and hola to Roast Citrus Chicken with Vegetable Gems.
Enjoy, friends, because you’re my community, too!
Roast Citrus Chicken with Vegetable Gems
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hours 10 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hours 30 Minutes
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced into half moons
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch chunks
- 3/4 pound large white onion, peeled and sliced into eighths
- 1 pound small purple eggplants, cleaned and sliced into quarters
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the chicken
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more for the chicken and final sprinkling
- 20 twists freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the chicken and final sprinkling
- 1 (4-pound) organic, free-range chicken, innards removed and discarded
- 2 lemons or Meyer lemons, sliced into six wedges
- 1 orange, sliced into six wedges
- 1 small bunch mixed fresh herbs (like thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Fill a large roasting dish with the squash, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and eggplant. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss the veg until they’re well-coated.
- Sit the chicken on top of the veg. Salt and pepper the bird liberally, inside and out. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the lemon wedges, orange wedges, and a mix of herbs sprigs. Any citrus wedges or herbs that don’t fit into the chicken should be tossed into the bed of vegetables, tucked here and there to impart flavor. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting dish.
- Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and cook until the veg are soft and chicken comes to 155°F when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (it will finish cooking to 165 degrees while it rests), about 40 to 50 minutes longer. Start checking around 30 minutes into the roast and remove the veg from the roasting pan when they're ready, leaving the chicken to continue cooking.
- Serve the roasted veg on a platter, with any roasted citrus juice squeezed on top. Carve the chicken into breast pieces, leg pieces, and thigh pieces and serve on top of the pile of vegetables. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper just before serving.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.