I find it humorous when people say they are intimidated by roasting a chicken. It’s super easy to prepare once you get the hang of it and makes for a really elegant presentation. Plus, nothing could be easier than letting the bird do its thing in the oven while you focus on other meal preparations.
While I’ve been roasting chickens many times over the years, the 2010 holiday season was the first time I wrapped the top in bacon. This recipe actually hits three birds with one stone. Yes, that pun was intended. (insert special Cory giggle here) Consider tossing the chopped bacon into a salad with croutons, blue cheese and cherry tomatoes. Simply whisk together a little olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper for a light vinaigrette.
The roasted vegetables is a great way to infuse even more flavor into the chicken and then it becomes a wonderful complimentary side dish. If you have leftover vegetables the next day, blend them with a little chicken stock to make a tasty roasted vegetable soup.
- 1 (3-4 lb.) whole chicken
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- ½ large onion, peeled & quartered
- 1 whole lemon, quartered
- 1 Tbl. garlic, minced
- 4-6 slices bacon
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- ½ cup chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chicken on the inside and out. Pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Next stuff the cavity with the rosemary sprigs, onion, lemon and garlic. Rub the legs and wings with olive oil. Season the entire bird with salt and pepper. Lay the bacon strips lengthwise across the breast with a slight overlap.
- Cut the celery, onion and carrots into roughly 2” chunks. Evenly distribute the vegetables and chicken stock along the bottom of a large roasting pan. Season the mixture with more salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture.
- Roast the chicken for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove the bacon and baste the chicken with the drippings. Roast for an additional 25 – 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and lightly cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, spoon the vegetables onto the serving platter. Slice the chicken and place on top of the vegetables.