I’m going to let you in on the easiest Sunday dinner I can think of. A local pastured chicken, roasted with root vegetables scattered around or underneath. The prep work is minimal, all you really need is salt and pepper, maybe olive oil or butter. This is simple food at it’s best and it will taste like you did far more work. We grow a big variety of root vegetables on the farm, and one of the easiest ways to use them is to sub them for a potato in most recipes. New for 2015, we’re pairing with Good Life Farm CSA+ to offer deliveries of meat, cheese, bread, fruit, herbs, and more at your regular pick-up site. Check out their online farm store to learn more and place an order! Pick-up all of the local, organic food you need in one convenient location.
- Radishes – for red radishes scrub and remove tops and bottoms. Use whole or chopped in half. For other varieties like watermelon, shunkyo, and daikon scrub, peel if necessary, and cut into big chunks.
- Winter Squash – peel, chop in half, scoop out seeds, and dice.
- Parsnips – peel and cube.
- Potatoes – scrub and cut into chunks. Leave skins on.
- Celeriac – remove skin completely and cut into cubes or large chunks. Check out our tutorial here.
- Beets – scrub and peel, then cut into cubes or large chunks.
- Turnips – scrub and remove turnip greens if necessary. Hakurei turnips and pink turnips are good with the skins on. Purple top turnips are better peeled.
- Carrots – scrub and chop. Peeling optional.
- Rutabaga – scrub, peel, chop into cubes or chunks.
Seasoning. Toss your vegetables with other aromatics or just salt and pepper. Try whole or chopped garlic, fresh or dried herbs, onions, shallots, etc. Lay whole sprigs of herbs over the vegetables and remove the stems before serving or use minced leaves.
The Method. I like to roast chickens with a high temperature method. If you have a method you prefer, just use that. Some people prefer low and slow roasting, or even removing the backbone of the chicken and laying it flat over a bed of prepped vegetables. To make my favorite whole roasted chicken, let your chicken rest at room temperature for about an hour, then crank up your oven to 425°F. Rub the bird inside and out with salt and pepper (I mix salt and pepper together in a little bowl before getting my hands dirty so I don’t have to keep washing my hands), then tie the legs together or just make a slit in the skin you can tuck the legs into. Scrub and peel your chosen vegetables, chop if necessary.
Equipment. If you have a traditional roasting pan with a roasting rack, place the vegetables in the bottom of the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Add a few glugs of olive oil, toss to combine. Place the chicken in the roasting rack over the vegetables. Another great way to roast a chicken is in a cast iron skillet with a meat trivet. This is a great inexpensive option if you are trying to save space in your kitchen and utilize a pan you already have. Just set the chicken on top of the trivet and scatter the prepped veggies around it.
Roasting. To high temperature roast the chicken roast a 3 – 4lb chicken a 425°F for 60 – 70 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165°F and juices run clear. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking.