Roasted Chicken with Vegetables is a simple and delicious dish to prepare. During the holidays, forget the turkey and instead roast a chicken, especially if you only have a few mouths to feed.
I like to use a large cast iron pan to roast the chicken and vegetables. However, a roasting pan will also work here.
To Brine or Not to Brine – That is the Question
If I have time, I like to brine the chicken before roasting it. The reason is that brining adds three things to the quality of the chicken.
First, brining enhances the flavor of the chicken. Second, brining adds moisture to the chicken by changing the protein structure, allowing water to be trapped. This is especially true for chicken breasts, which tend to be on the dry side.
Finally, brining tenderizes the meat and improves its texture.
These changes to the chicken are primarily caused by salt, which is added to the brining liquid. It’s not unusual to also add sugar to the brining liquid. Sugar doesn’t impact the texture of the meat. However, it does add flavor and promotes the browning of the skin.
If citrus is added to the brine, its acid also adds flavor, as does the addition of herbs.
Here’s How I Brined the Chicken
The main drawback of brining is that it takes time.
For my brine, I use water, Kosher salt, light brown sugar, a quartered orange, a quartered lemon, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme.
- First, I added the salt, sugar, orange, lemon, rosemary, and thyme to water in a large container. I stirred everything together until the salt and sugar had dissolved.
- Next, I added the whole chicken with the giblets removed.
One mistake that I made was miscalculating how much water would be displaced when the chicken was added.
I almost had a disaster on my hands when I added the whole chicken! Fortunately, however, the water level came to the top of the container, but not over it! I actually ended up removing about a cup of the brining liquid to avoid any spills.
- I covered the container with the brine and chicken and placed it in the refrigerator for about five hours. I’ve found that anywhere between four and six hours works well for the brining.
Ingredients: Here’s What I Used for the Recipe
In addition to the brined chicken, I used unpeeled baby potatoes, baby carrots, and an onion for the vegetables.
I also used some vegetable oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Drying Out The Chicken
One of the negative features of brining is that the added liquid can impede the browning of the chicken skin. Therefore, after five hours, I removed the chicken from the brine and rinsed it well.
Then, I placed the chicken on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. I patted the chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkled it with some Kosher salt.
I placed the chicken uncovered into the refrigerator for several hours. The refrigerator environment is actually quite dry and helps to dry out the skin on the chicken.
Getting the Chicken Ready for Roasting
I removed the chicken from the refrigerator after two hours. Now was the time to get the chicken ready for roasting.
- First, I again patted the chicken dry with a paper towel. Then, I stuffed the cavity of the chicken with rosemary, thyme, orange wedges, and lemon wedges.
- Next, I tied the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine. I cut away the excess twine with scissors.
- After that, I turned my attention to the vegetables of choice – baby potatoes, baby carrots, and onions. I added the vegetables to a bowl. Then, I poured on some vegetable oil and sprinkled the vegetables with salt and pepper. I stirred everything together to ensure that the vegetables were well coated.
- After that, I placed the chicken on a silicone roasting rack in a large cast iron pan and added the vegetables around the chicken.
- Finally, I brushed the chicken with some vegetable oil and sprinkled on salt and pepper.
I roasted the chicken in a preheated 425°F oven for an hour and 30 minutes. After an hour and 30 minutes, the chicken was golden brown and perfectly cooked. Also, the vegetables were perfectly cooked.
I removed the pan from the oven and covered it with aluminum foil for 15 minutes while I baked the biscuits to go with the chicken.
The chicken was incredibly tender, and the vegetables were delicately flavored from roasting with the chicken. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are two ways that I use to determine if the chicken is done. One way is to use a thermometer for the internal temperature. It should read at least 165°F. The other way is to check the joint where the thigh is attached to the chicken. The chicken is done if the liquids run clear.
I used a 12-inch cast iron pan. It was the largest cast iron pan that I had.
You can use a roasting pan or other large oven-safe pan for roasting the chicken.
I used a 6 litre (almost 6 quart) container for the brining. It was almost too small, though. When I put the chicken into the container with the brine, the container almost overflowed!
I used unpeeled baby gold potatoes, which I cut in half in this recipe. I’ve also used peeled russet potatoes cut into chunks in the past.
I don’t find it necessary to baste the chicken while it was roasting.
Recipe Hints and Tips
- You can substitute a dry brine for the wet brine in this recipe. For the dry brine, combine a tablespoon of Kosher salt with a teaspoon of baking powder. Sprinkle over the chicken. Refrigerate the chicken uncovered for up to 24 hours.
- Don’t throw away the chicken bones. Rather, put them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. When you have enough, boil the bones for a wonderful chicken broth.
- You can stuff the chicken with the same herbs, as well as the same orange pieces and lemon pieces from the brine.
- If you have leftover chicken, use it to make a wonderful chicken salad.
For a variation on the roasted chicken, try my Dry-Brined Spatchcock Chicken au Jus or Dry-Brined Roast Chicken.
If you liked the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Vegetables, please consider rating it and leaving a comment. I’d love to know how you liked it!
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Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- 1 gallon cold water
- ½ cup Kosher salt (See Tip 1)
- ½ cup (3.75 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 5 to 6 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- Brined chicken from above
- Thyme, rosemary, oranges, and lemons from the brine
- 1 ½ pounds baby gold potatoes, cut in half or in quarters
- 12 ounces baby carrots
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Add Kosher salt, brown sugar, orange, lemon, thyme, and rosemary to water in a large container with a top. Stir to dissolve salt and brown sugar. Remove giblets from the chicken. Add chicken to the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. (See Tip 2)
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- Remove chicken from brine; discard brine. Rinse chicken well under cold water. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Place chicken on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least two hours to allow the skin to dry out.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with thyme, rosemary, orange, and lemon quarters from the brine. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place chicken in a large cast iron pan or large roasting pan. Brush the chicken with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. (See Tip 2)
- Place potatoes, carrots, and onions in a large bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Stir to coat vegetables with oil. Add vegetables to the pan with chicken.
- Bake at 425° F for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the temperature of the thigh registers 165° F to 170°F, and the juices of the chicken run clear. Remove from oven; cover loosely with aluminum foil for 20 minutes before cutting.
- Yield: 4 servings.
- If using table salt, reduce the amount of salt to ¼ cup.
- Be sure that the brining container is large enough to hold both the brining ingredients and the chicken without overflowing.
- If possible, place the chicken on a small rack like this silicone roasting rack.