The aroma coming from your kitchen while this is cooking is indescribable! It’s an easy meal that is rich in flavor. Though it’s the middle of winter, my herbs are still a plenty and it’s just pure comfort food.
1 (5 to 6 pound) chicken
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of fresh herbs – a mixture of thyme, sage, and rosemary is what I use
1 large lemon, halved
1 large head garlic, cut in half (into cloves if you prefer)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chicken base
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 yellow onions, thickly sliced
5 medium carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
4 small baking potatoes cut into large chunks or wedges
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out with salted water. Remove any excess fat and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with all but 5 or 6 springs of the herbs, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again liberally with salt and pepper. Place the onions, carrots, and potatoes in a roasting pan; season with salt, pepper, remaining herbs, fennel, onion powder, cayenne, chicken base, and olive oil; stir to mix. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Cover and roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours in a preheated 425 degree oven; remove the lid; add 1/3 – 1/2 cup water to the pan; return to oven uncovered and cook another 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and it is golden brown. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables. NOTE: I remove the skin, after cooking and ladle some of the cooking juices over the chicken before covering with foil. I have taken the drippings and made a thin sauce with a little cornstarch to drizzle over the chicken and vegetables.