The perfect Sunday supper, this roasted chicken with salsa verde is unbelievably juicy and tender, and is paired perfectly with whipped cauliflower with parsnips and goat cheese.
If you happened to be in the Trader Joe’s on 21st street and 6th Ave last Friday. And noticed a girl whipping around the store as if she totally absolutely knew what she was doing. The one who bee-lined for the whole roasted chickens. Picked up every free-range organic bird she could find. Shook, smelled and pinched each and every one. For good measure. Until ultimately choosing one for no apparent reason other than that it just felt right in her hands.
And then proceeded to name it and talk to it in the obscenely long lines that had developed while she was pinching and shaking and ruminating.
Well. That was me.
I’d never cooked a whole roasted chicken before.
You probably saw right through me.
So then I brought the damn thing home and set it down on my kitchen table and said to it, “Funky. You stay right there and don’t move one muscle. I’ll be back.”
(I really had to pee.)
(And yes. I named my chicken “Funky”. Funky the chicken. After the dance.)
And then. Somewhere in between the bathroom and the kitchen. Probably in my dimly lit hallway, which is the only thing standing in-between the bathroom and the kitchen.
I got cold feet.
I felt like the entire weight of the world was resting on my shoulders. (Or at least the weight of the chicken. What? Four pounds is no laughing matter!)
I couldn’t handle the responsibility. Or the commitment.
And so I shoved that chicken as far back into my fridge as possible, slammed the door, and walked away. Sorry Funky. I had to do it.
It wasn’t until late Saturday night that I felt strong and capable enough to really tackle the task at hand.
So I pulled off the plastic wrap. And wouldn’t you know, there is no graceful way to hold a chicken? You either feel like you’re pulling apart it’s legs and exposing it to the entire world or that you’re holding a baby and feel oddly compelled to hug it to your chest and sing it lullabies. Neither of which is a sane rational thing to do.
After slipping and sliding it around my entire kitchen, I finally got it rinsed and salted. Threw it back in the fridge and went to bed. How exhausting.
And then it was Sunday. Sunday, which is supposedly the day of rest, and thus is the perfect day for doing things like throwing a chicken in an oven and letting it do it’s thing for an hour while you lay in bed and dawdle the afternoon away! I felt like the odds were in my favor that everything was going to turn out okay.
So I stuffed it and smothered it with lemon, as per the recipe’s instructions. Pierced it’s thigh with my candy thermometer (look, some of us can’t afford to buy a meat thermometer, mmk?). You know, after I figured out where it’s thigh was. (This is what I mean when I say that medical school hasn’t taught me a single useful thing.) And walked away.
Approximately an hour and 160 degrees later. I had a perfectly cooked chicken on my hands. It was lemony and moist and just wonderful. And the drippings. Oh the drippings. Let’s not talk about the fact that I stood in front of the pan and dipped the chicken into the drippings while I ate it. And then forced Sophie to do the same.
We are so unladylike that it scares me.
The salsa verde for this chicken is not your typical Mexican salsa verde, but instead is an Italian version that is chock full of mint, parsley, capers, and lemon. Basically, all that is good in this world. And it just happens to go marvelously atop the whipped parsnips and cauliflower with goat cheese that I made to go with it. I love when things turn out for the best.
- 1 3-4 lb chicken
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint
- 2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 5 parsnips, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups veggie broth
- 2.5 oz goat cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- A day before cooking, rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water and pat dry. Salt liberally, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before cooking it. Preheat the oven to 425.
- Lift the skin off each chicken breast and wedge 3 lemon slices and a bay leaf between the skin of each breast. Put the onion, garlic, thyme, and remaining lemon in the cavity of the chicken. Rub or spray the entire chicken with olive oil. Put the chicken in an ovenproof saute pan or in a roasting pan breast side up. Slide it into the oven and roast it until the thigh reaches 160 or until the cavity juices run clear, about 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-20 minutes. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and serve with the salsa verde.
- For the salsa verde, combine the parsley, mint, anchovies, garlic, shallot, lemon zest and juice, capers, red pepper flakes and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the whipped parsnips and cauliflower with goat cheese, place the cauliflower and parsnips into a stockpot with the veggie broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all of the broth has evaporated.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the cauliflower and parsnips together into a mash. Alternatively, you can put them in a blender or food processor. Mash in the goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
You are so right girl. There is absolutely no graceful way to hold a chicken. I look like a damn fool when I’m handling one in my kitchen. haha
wow, I’m so impressed! I’d get cold feet in the store!
WOw, impressive! I’ve yet to roast a chicken. What a shame!
It turned out so juicy. For your first time, you did fabulously! I am really intrigued by the whipped cauliflower/parsnip side that you sneaked in to the post. It sounds delicious.
You did Funky well…his family would be proud of the fate he met in your kitchen!
Love the Italian version of the salsa verde – very nice!
Photos are once again – perfection!
Well it looks like you did an amazing job because your chicken looks so moist! We actually got one of those chickens and cooked it in the slow cooker the other day, it was terrific. I need to make the whipped parsnip dish immediately!
Oh gosh … YUM! That chicken is so moist. I love the part about dipping the chicken into the juice. Is there any other way to eat chicken? I don’t think you are unladylike. Brilliant, maybe. But not unladylike 😉
Way to go with your first roast chicken, Joanne! I learned how to make it when I went to cooking school, but don’t really have plans to do it at home again.. it was GOOD though and I loved it when my Dad said it was better than what my mom typically feeds him. 😉
Courage–that’s what it takes. The next chicken, “Beatrice” perhaps, will be easier. Sometimes just “winging” it helps. And anytime you add anchovies to a sauce you win me over. In fact, I could come over. I’ll just need a day’s notice and which airport you are closer to.
Too funny! I have always been like that with making dough, always intimidated me for some reason. I love roast chicken but always dread having to wash it and look at it. I never thought of naming it…lol
It looks perfect. Really unique, serving it with this flavorful herb mixture and with parsnips…yummy:)
What a great post, Joanne! And from looking at the pictures I never would have thought that this was your first roast chicken — it looks so moist! Great job…and I’m with you on the drippings. 😉
I loved this post! I, also, love what you did with Funky. An Italian Salsa Verde???! I.must.try.this! I bought the stuff to make your Spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken this past weekend. Now I must buy a whole chicken….one small enough to fit in my toaster/convection thingie. I already have the parsnips and cauli and goat cheese. Oh my! Perfection!
You are just killing me with your photos… A wonderful meal all around.. Great job. Planning to make your Pasta with sweet potatoes from earlier in the week tonight.
Chicken looks so juicy and delicious..I am yet to roast a chicken..As always pics are so tempting..
I am having a dinner party and bought two whole chickens that i will be roasting for the first time on Saturday. I hadnt the slightest incling as to what I was going to do to these chickens until now. thank you joanne!
Wait until you cook a chicken the Spatchcock method! Maybe you can call that bird “Jazzy”
I make a roast chicken every Friday night (like Ina!), it’s in the genes.
The salsa verde looks divine and forget mashed potatoes, the parsnips/cauliflower is what I want!
Magic words = goat cheese!!
The most luscious and moist roast chicken I’ve ever seen!
Its not unusual to talk to animals, give them names etc. Its usually done to living animals but there is no rule which says you cannot name and talk to dead chickens:)
For a first timer, your chicken looks great, Joanne. I used to bake chicken all the time back in my omnivore days, and it really is amazing how wonderful a home baked, free range bird can be. Your recipe looks really awesome to boot!
Well done ~ Loving all the flavors, and how can you go wrong with that delicious salsa verde!
I was also afraid of roasting chickens until very recently (like, 3 weeks ago =). But it was so unwarranted! Besides the awkwardness of holding the chicken (heh heh), it’s too easy to be true.
You are a brave sole. I guess calling it Funky Roasted Chicken wouldn’t have sounded as appealing.
I laugh myself silly everytime I read your posts! 😉 Good stuff. I suppose roasting your very first whole chicken can be daunting. ;)Im glad funky turned out perfect. ‘Good chicken, yes you are…’
I made a Meditteranean roasted chicken last night and am doing chicken stalk today. You saved your bones and such for stock right? 😉
Im loving this salsa verde!!!! what a wonderful combo!
oops, stock. 😉
Can you come and make me this beautiful chicken now that I am sick? Please, please. That would be perfect for my cold.
Some people are tree huggers and some are chicken huggers – it is all about the love!!
Your chicken looks dang delicious. I swear if I am ever in your part of the world you will be seeing me show up on your doorstep and expecting a meal like this. Just warning you!
I bet this roasted chicken must be full of flavour with its chock full of mints and fresh herbs. It looks moist and delish too!
Pics are so good and the dish looks very tasty
Bravo! You did it and you did it beautifully! I havent cooked a whole chicken yet either…. one day. Probably not soon. Hopefully half as successful.
1) I am hard-pressed to believe you have never cooked a whole chicken before.
2) I would also be more than happy to send you a meat thermometer. My slightly clueless husband thought it would be an excellent Chanukah gift, and we already have 2. I wanted perfume but what are you going to do? You can email me with your address and I’ll send it along.
Some people say not to rinse the chicken, because you just get bacteria all over your sink and everything. I dunno. In any case, would have saved you a day 🙂
Now that you know how, you can throw a whole chicken in the oven without much fanfare. A pan, a chicken, and an hour is all you need. Save the bones for broth!!!
LOL! That’s too funny! I clearly remember the first time I handled a chicken and felt really squirmish…I think I had better stop here lol!
Anyway, you did well. It looks fantastic and the salsa verde will go nicely with it.
Great looking meal Joanne. The chicken looks perfect – As you did, I always pull mine at 160* to ensure a moist breast.
First of all u had me at Salsa Verde , so good and those flavors , fantastic!
And if u hadn mentioned , id think ur an expert at roasting chicken , gosh look at the perfection babe!
And the cauliflower mash, wowowowow!
AM totally hungry now!
The chicken i cooked for dinner aint calling to me anymore , this is what i want:-)
Oh i can imagine those drippings!
joanne. EXCELLENT pictures. they seem to be particularly enticing this time around!
Handling raw chicken makes me want to be a vegetarian. It’s my least favorite job in the kitchen.
Funky looks like s/he got a very nice tan:) Looks moist and delicious.
Sigh, this is pure bliss, Joanne. 🙂 Sundays are perfect for roast chicken somehow. And I’d be right there dipping meat in the juices too! AND stealing the crispiest bits of skin while I was at it. 🙂
I like that salasa verde and cauliflower whipped. love it. sure chicken will taste great.
You’ve never roasted a whole chicken before and it turned out that gorgeous? I’m very, very impressed.
I’ve never seen a chicken in terms of a baby before. Thanks. Now I’ll never look at one the same.
I love this! I currently have a bird frosting away in my freezer too that I have been “avoiding”! Looks like this turned out beautifully! The salsa verde sounds so yummy. 🙂
I was scared to death to roast my first chicken and now I roast them every other week. Yours looks perfectly done and I love the salsa verde with it.
I am intimidated by the whole chicken as well. Agree that you either feel like you are exposing it or want to hug it. Poor thing. It’s so much….like a whole chicken. Like I can imagine…a real chicken. I know it IS a real chicken but it seems to be easier to think of it in terms of pieces.
The salsa verde has me drooling.
I make roast chicken at least once a week and I ALWAYS roast it whole. It is just so much more flavored this way. Of course, I have to cut it up discreetly in the kitchen before letting anyone else set their eyes on it. And I have to remove the wings. And pluck every single hair on its body. Two of my children are Very Picky Eaters. If they had the slightest suspicion that the food on their plates bore any relationship to live chicken, they would call me a murderer and starve themselves for a week.
I never attempted to roast a whole chicken at home except cornish game hen cos I prefer the petite size for smaller servings – just right for 2!
The salsa verde is a good touch.
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jo jo you make me laugh so freaking hard! I remember MY first roast chicken and it being so daunting. Now I consider it one of my go to quick delicious meals! So glad you stuck it out and made the chicken. Oh, and dont come to my house when I am prepping one cause I make it dance around and flap its wings! 🙂 hugs! Alex
Terrific..roasted chicken…infact I can so much relate to the pinching you talked abt in the trader Joe..I do that with produce too..shamelessely:)
Yum …is he only world…I hv never wrked with whole chicken myself..but u did a pretty decent job here!
I can understand why you’d feel intimidated, but I think you did an awesome job! 🙂
This looks wonderful! And congratulations for conquering the chicken…it’s not an easy feet. Gone are the days when people would just slap a chicken into a roasting pan atop of a myriad of roasting veggies, drizzle with oil, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
This looks wonderful – did I already say that? Can you eat roast chicken for breakfast because I really feel like it now!
Shari from http://www.goodfoodweek.blogspot.com
Oh, come now, preparing a chicken isn’t that hard! Although, you do need to give it a good talking to, to let it know who’s the boss (you). Love the whipped parsnips, too – the goats cheese in it sounds delicious.
for your first time, funky turned out great!!! juicy and moist..
Whole roasted chicken is a Sunday favorite with us. Aren’t you glad you didn’t chicken out on Funky?
It sounds like a truly lovely meal and it will be smooth sailing from here on out. It’s like riding a bicycle. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
Un plat tellement chargé de saveurs.
A très bientôt.
Joanne, I’m just going to go right ahead and take credit for this whole roast chicken, because the last time I made this, you commented that you’ve never roasted a whole chicken before, and said you will, soon. And soon is now! Yay!!
You. Me. Must go shopping. One day.Looking like we both know what we’re doing. 😉
😀 I remember that I was pretty nervous too the first time I tried roasting a chicken 😉
Roasted chickens are one of the best things in the entire world! The smell that permeates the house is unbelievable. Love the sound of that Italian salsa verde too!
I love the salsa with the chicken. I need to try that!
I was just thinking of trying a new recipe for mashed cauliflower – this is perfect! So glad I found your blog, looking forward to reading more!
Beautiful! Love the salsa!
When I make roasted chicken, I not only dip the chicken into the drippings but also dunk chunks of bread in the drippings. So good! Congrats on roasting your first chicken. It looks gorgeous, moist, and perfect!
Ok, I can NOT believe that I roasted a chicken before you did! I haven’t even been eating meat for two full months yet! But it looks like you did pretty well.
…you know what you do now, right? Roast the bones (you saved them, of course), then throw them in a crockpot with a couple carrots, celery sticks, an onion, some apple cider vinegar and water, and make yourself the best damn chicken broth you have ever tasted. Seriously.
I have never roasted a chicken either. I am scared of whole birds…I still am trying to get used to eating meat again! This looks and sounds delicious though. I love the Italian salsa verde! Thank you for sharing with me tonight. You are making me long for chicken…and for Trader Joe’s!
you did an awesome job with your first roasted chicken! but those whipped vegetables are really calling to me … 🙂
Congratulations on the beautiful roasted Funky!
I had a great time reading your post, the salsa verde looks perfect and the picture is so clear that I could dip a slice of baguette in it 🙂
Damn this looks & sounds goooooooooooooood! Chicken for TheHusband and lemon-y goodness for me. Win-win.
PS: I also only fairly recently roasted a whole chicken, so don’t feel alone.
I laughed at the idea of you inspecting each whole chicken. I do the same thing with the cutlets, and my daughter used to scold me for doing so. And now what does she do in the grocery store? That’s right, inspects her food very closely!
There’s nothing in the world like a great roasted chicken. And the parsnip accompaniment sounds terrific!
Congratulations on your first roast chicken!!!! A total success. Well done!!
Wonderful combination of flavors. I love anything that adds anchovies. Great roasted chicken. Blessings, Catherine
The roast chicken looks terrific, wonderful with salsa verde and what a great idea to add goat cheese to the whipped parsnips and cauliflower, nice!
Congrats on popping your whole bird cooking cherry. I need to pop mine, but I’m scard. Not gunna lie. I have no idea what I’m doing and I don’t think I’m as skilled as you! It looks…perfect.
That chicken looks perfect … nothing to hint at it being your first time! Love the salsa verde you served it with. Great accompaniment.
These photos are gorgeous and the salsa verde looks wonderful!
I love the idea of pairing chicken with salsa verde; it adds zing to an otherwise bland meat. Also the idea of adding goat cheese to the veggie purée adds flavor and oomph! Great post !
Goat cheese, there you said it, I can’t resist it!
I make my husband deal with whole chickens…I can’t handle how much they look like babies. Great story…I can picture you in Trader Joes
mmMMm goat cheese!! I dont usually eat a ton of cheese but I LOVE a really good goat cheese once in awhile. Its so amazing. The chicken verde is right up my alley. I gonna have to make this asap! Yum Yum Yum..I love how a really great salsa can transform any dish. Its gotta be my absolute favorite!
Look at you…facing your fears. And with such glorious results!!
Oh yum yum yum yum! I love oven roasted (whole) chicken… and I totally broke the roasted chicken virginity too, recently. Easy, huh? But getting there was tough for me too. 😉
Looks delicious though! (I had to dip mine in the drippings too… it’s just tooooooo good not too)
I’ve always wanted to cook a whole roasted chicken. You inspired me! 🙂
I always used to make the chicken dance for my girls when they were little before I seasoned and roasted it 🙂
The sauce sounds wonderful!
You KNOW I can’t control myself around goat cheese. Why must you tempt me with your wonderful kitchen goodies? I made a whole chicken exactly once in my life. Boy loved it. And because I’m a terrible girlfriend I haven’t made it since.. maybe it’s time to make this recipe.
Congrats on your first chicken roasting experience! I really hate touching raw chicken, it grosses me out. But it’s always worth it in the end. Looks fab, girl!
funky cleans up nice! you did a great job, it is a daunting task isn’t it!
That picture of the pan of uncooked chicken with the sliced lemons next to it is stunning. This all sounds wonderful… the whipped parsnips in particular!
The drooling has commenced….looks delicious!
you had me at goat cheese.
haha anyways whenever i think of a chicken like a whole one i can’t help but think of 6th grade when we mumified a chicken. yep that’s right haha salted it and burried it
wow. love this. the chicken. *and* the whipped veggies. maybe especially those whipped veggies 🙂
I always find it so funny that people find chicken roasting daunting, since it’s actually super easy! There’s nothing like popping a chicken in the oven on a cold winter’s night and letting the smell waft through your apartment (yes, I realize that that sounds like terrible poetry lol). Your poultry taking looks particularly amazing, I’m sure my mother would absolutely love it:)
I hope you have a nice weekend!
Congrats on your first bird! It definitely turned out like you were a pro! I love that Italian “salsa verde”! Definitely going to have to make that soon!
I am so glad that you mustered the courage to roast your first chicken. I see many, many more in your future.
Wait a sec, two amazing recipes in a single post? Too much! Both sound exquisite. I love roast chicken and think it’s such a great way to have protein throughout the week – but have never tried with a salsa verde. Yum.
I would love to go to Trader Joe’s with you :), [email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters
Yay for your first roasted chicken – looks like you nailed it 🙂
I’ve been roasting whole chickens nearly every week. They are such a money saver. I so hate the process of getting them ready to cook though. So icky and messy…but tasty. Your first whole chicken looks so darn delicious, especially with the yummy salsa verde. Your whipped parsnips look irresistible too! Great meal!
Few things are as delicious as a home roasted chicken/ Your looks perfect and I am loving the sound of that salsa verde–going to have to make that for sure. 😉
So happy to read you had great success with this bird. That green salsa looks divine!
I don’t think I have to ever buy a cookbook again (except when you publish yours, Joanne). You keep on hitting home runs — like whipped parsnips and cauliflower and goat cheese. Love this combination!
I don’t even eat chicken and I’m drooling…what a fantastic dish and glad to see that funky finally made it to the table, lol
And that salsa verde , so nice!
F.E.A.R. = false evidence appearing real. Very funny, though. There is NOTHING easier than roasting a chicken, except a turkey. I gather the little bird didn’t come out happy and golden (no pic?)
The sauce is a novel idea! I love it! And will probably make it. Go to a farmer’s market. Talk to him about his chickens and what he feeds them. That’s way better than pinching a bunch in the store!
All of this looks incredibly amazing. Wish we had a Trader Joe’s.
MMMM!!!! I’ve only made 2-3 roast chickens but I always think rotisserie chicken from the store tastes soooo much better 🙂 But your sauce (kind of like a chimichurri) sounds like it totally elevate the humble roast chicken to something fabulous! And goat cheese in the veggie whip?? Yes, please!!
There is something better about a chicken that has been roasted whole. I Love the salsa over the top!
Way to grab the bull by the horns…errr chicken by the beak and show it who is boss. A perfectly roasted chicken is a thing of beauty. The juicy white meat and rich dark meat can’t be replicated as pieces.