Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash, Broccoli, Artichoke Hearts, and Onions (Serves 4-8)
Heritage Whites are a breed of chicken that grows big breasts. My local farmer harvested one for me this past weekend. Instead of roasting the 5 or 6 pounder whole, I used my chef’s knife and sturdy kitchen shears to cut the chicken into four pieces – 2 breast quarters and 2 leg quarters – and then roasted the pieces on top of a pan of vegetables. I ate the largest breast quarter with vegetables right away and refrigerated the remaining three quarters with vegetables in three different airtight containers. If my wife was in town, she could get two and maybe three meals out of a quarter, but she is a little woman. Those three quarters will provide just three good meals for a voracious eater like me.
Prep and cook time: 90-120 minutes
1 5-6 pound whole chicken
1 large sweet yellow onion
1 large butternut squash
1 can artichoke hearts
2-3 crowns of broccoli
Ground black pepper
Red chili powder
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop onion into bite-size pieces and scatter in the bottom of a roasting pan. Peel butternut squash and cut it in half. Scrape mushy pulp and seeds from center with a spoon and cut the remaining squash flesh into cubes. Scatter butternut squash in roasting pan. Open can of artichoke hearts. Cut them into bite-size pieces and scatter in roasting pan. Rinse broccoli and cut florets from stalks. Cut large florets into bite-size pieces and scatter broccoli in roasting pan. Season vegetables with a generous dusting of salt, garlic powder, and red chili powder. Add 2 cups of water to the pan. Use kitchen shears and knife as needed to cut along the back to open the chicken up. Then cut along the center of the breasts to separate the chicken into two halves. Then cut along the fold to separate the breast and leg quarters. Rinse pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of chicken with salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and yellow curry powder. Arrange the chicken quarters on top of the vegetables and transfer roasting pan to the hot oven for 60 minutes. Drippings from the roasting chicken drop down, adding nice flavor to the vegetables. Remove the chicken from the oven. Stick an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a breast quarter. 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 10 minutes. Keep testing until the chicken reaches 165. The time varies with size of the bird, performance of the oven, heat-conducting qualities of the vegetables, 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.
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