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Chicken with Garden Vegetables

If the roasting pan is too small to hold the extra vegetables, place them in a separate baking dish and moisten with a spoonful or so of the pan juices. Roast until tender when pierced, about 30 minutes. You can also add 8 Yukon Gold potatoes, halved, to the roasting pan about 1 hour before the chicken is done.

Ingredients:

  • 4 shallots
  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbs., at room temperature
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 carrots, peeled, sliced, blanched for 3 minutes and drained
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced crosswise, blanched for 3 minutes and drained
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced, blanched for 3 minutes and drained
  • 2 cups English peas
  • 1 large roasting chicken, 7 to 8 lb., with neck and giblets reserved for another use
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • About 1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Slice 2 of the shallots. In a small fry pan over medium heat, melt the 1 tsp. butter. Add the sliced shallots and sauté until limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Add half each of the blanched carrots, fennel, celery and peas. Toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. In another bowl, toss together the remaining blanched vegetables and the remaining 1 cup peas. Quarter the remaining 2 shallots, add to the bowl and toss again. Cover and set aside.

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with the cut sides of the lemon, then season with salt. Lightly spoon the seasoned vegetables into the main and neck cavities. Rub the remaining 1 Tbs. butter over and under the skin of the chicken, sliding your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Secure the neck cavity closed with toothpicks or small metal skewers. Cross the drumsticks and, using kitchen twine, tie together. Place the stuffed chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a large roasting pan, tucking the wing tips underneath the breasts.

Roast until the skin is browned on the back, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Turn the chicken breast side up and continue to roast, basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices during the last 30 minutes, until the skin is browned and the juices run clear, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 1 1/2 hours more. Scatter the reserved blanched vegetables around the chicken 30 minutes before it is done.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. If the vegetables are not yet tender, continue to roast until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a warmed bowl, then place the pan over high heat. Add the broth and deglaze the pan, stirring to remove any browned bits. Boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Spoon off the fat, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a warmed bowl.

Remove the skewers and strings from the chicken. Spoon the stuffing into a warmed bowl. Carve the chicken. Pass the pan juices at the table.
Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Everyday Roasting, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1998).