Herb and Curry Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Onions (Serves 4-5)
All the whole chickens in the store were either too big or too small. I really wanted to roast a chicken so chose the biggest of the “too small” birds, one that weighed 3.5 pounds. Working from memory as I cooked, I forgot to stuff the chicken with onion and orange quarters and laid it on the rack with the body cavity open to the hot air of the oven. Being open and relatively small, the chicken was done in just 60 minutes and tasted as wonderful as any roast chicken I’ve ever had.
The main difference between this roast chicken and the Herb Roasted Chicken with Zucchini, Carrots, Celery, and Onion that I shared recently was the substitution of curry powder for dried oregano in the spice paste. I made the change because I was almost out of oregano, but had plenty of yellow curry. The curry makes the paste a little spicier, but both approaches are very good.
Prep and cook time: 75-90 minutes
1 3.5 pound whole chicken
2 sweet yellow onions
2 pounds of carrots
Avocado or Macadamia Nut oil
Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
Ground black pepper – 1 teaspoon
Yellow curry – 1 tablespoon
Dried thyme – 1 tablespoon
Dried parsley – 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Add parsley, thyme, curry, ground pepper, garlic powder, and salt to a small bowl. Add enough avocado or macadamia nut oil to make a wet paste of the spices. Rub the spice paste over the entire surface of the chicken inside and out, paying special attention to the outside of the bird. Peel and chop onions into half-moon slices. Clean carrots and chop into bite-sized coins. Distribute the carrots and onions in a roasting pan. Dust generously with salt, garlic powder, and ground cumin. Add about 3 cups of water. Lay the chicken breast-side up in a rack in the roasting pan. Set the chicken and vegetables in the hot oven and let it roast for 60 minutes. Drippings from the roasting chicken should mix with the water, adding really nice flavor. Remove the chicken from the oven. Stick an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The chicken is done when it reads 165 degrees. If the temperature is less than 165 degrees, return the chicken to the oven and test it again in 5 or 10 minutes. Mine tested at 170 degrees, but this varies with size of the bird, openness of the cavity, performance of the oven, etc. When the chicken is done, move it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes to redistribute its juices before carving. Carve the chicken and use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to plates for serving.
Notes: I adapted this recipe from Tyler Florence’s shockingly good Ultimate Roast Chicken at FoodNetwork.com. Squeezing some fresh orange juice over the hot chicken would add a nice taste of citrus. Tyler calls for roasting an orange inside the bird, but if you forget like I did recently, you can still use a fresh orange if you have one. The taste is good regardless.
I did not peel my carrots. I used a scouring pad to scrape them clean, chopped off both ends, and then quickly sliced them into bite-sized coins. The results were very satisfying.
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