Let’s face it, sometimes vegetables become mundane. Peas, broccoli, spinach—a boring borage of green. An edible chore of edible plants, and it doesn’t taste like cheese. It can feel like a dismal dietary requirement, but what if . . . what if we can brighten-up our next monochrome meal with fresh herbs, savory flavors, and some extraordinarily-ordinary vegetables?
We can! (Or I would have no reason to be writing this post.) It’s as simple as Herb Roasted Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables. This spectrum of veggies is most likely hiding within your local grocer, and if you’re like me, you’ve been speeding your cart past them for months. Time to bring some color back into our lives, with rainbow heirloom carrots, blue potatoes, purple cauliflower, ruby cranberries—it is starting to sound like more of a psycadelic daydream than a dinner—and luckily these mystical vegetables do exist (and it’s not Easter egg dye my friends). They’re all-natural, delicious, nutrient-dense, and just plain attractive. Here, take a gander:
- 6 lb fresh, whole chicken
- bag of rainbow heirloom carrots (variety of coloring in bag), cut into large chunks.
- 1 sweet white onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled & trimmed
- 1 bulb of garlic, cut horizontally (for stuffing in chicken cavity)
- 2 lemons (1 quartered)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ½ head purple cauliflower (or regular, or both), cut into florets
- 2 small blue potatoes, scrubbed and halved
- 2 red new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
- 1 stick butter, melted in a mug
- 1 cup dry white wine
- bunch of fresh tarragon (chop 1 tsp for herb butter)
- bunch of fresh thyme (chop 1 tsp of leaves for herb butter)
- extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- few dashes poultry seasoning
- few dashes dried thyme (for veggies)
- salt & pepper to taste
- *butcher’s twine for trussing chicken (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse chicken, removing any innards in breast cavity, pat dry.
- Sprinkle salt & pepper over chicken, and a few dashes of poultry seasoning (throw a dash of salt & pepper inside breast cavity as well).
- Melt butter in a mug & add the tsp of chopped tarragon and tsp of chopped thyme leaves, and a squeeze of a fresh lemon wedge (from non quartered lemon).
- Carefully loosen skin at top from chicken breast, and take ~1T of butter herb mix, rubbing just under skin of chicken breast.
- Stuff chicken cavity with the quartered lemon, half bulb of garlic, fresh sprigs of tarragon & thyme.
- Tie the legs with twine or through skin flap (by tucking wings below legs at sides of bird), breast side up!
- In a large roasting pan, lightly coat bottom of pan with extra virgin olive oil.
- In a large mixing bowl toss potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, cranberries (minus the cauliflower), with a little salt, pepper, dashes of dried thyme, and drizzle of EVOO, tossing to coat.
- To bottom of the pan, evenly distribute layer of seasoned mixed veggies (the cauliflower, we will add to pan later).
- Add several fresh sprigs of tarragon, thyme, and a few slices of lemon (removing seeds as necessary).
- Add ~1/4 cup white wine to bottom of pan, for a little moisture.
- Place dressed chicken directly on top of veggies (still breast-side up), so it sits level.
- Baste bird (top of skin & all around bird) with some of the melted herb butter.
- Roast bird for first 30 mins & again baste with herb butter, then continue to roast another 30 mins.
- At this 1-hour cooking mark, baste bird again & check tenderness of veggies with a fork, adding cauliflower florets to pan around chicken, and ¾ cup of wine to bottom of roasting pan.
- Also check brownness of top of chicken breast, if browning too fast on top, tent bird with small piece of aluminum foil.
- Continue baking for another ½ -1 hour as needed (until bird is browned & cook temp in largest part of breast meat reaches 180 degrees).
- Remove pan from oven when all is cooked completely, and let chicken rest for at least 15 mins before carving (can return veggies in pan back to warm oven while chicken rests).
- Serve warm with roasted vegetables (Discard herb sprigs & lemon slices used in pan for roasting).
What I love about this—despite the oven doing 95% of the work—is how vibrant our dinner looks and tastes! We add lemon, cranberry and tarragon for a pop of freshness; thyme, butter and wine for a juicy, savory chicken; and vegetables of all colors for nutrition & texture. A meal all-in-one pan, means less dishes & less stove-top slaving.
The more colorful your food, the more antioxidants. The more antioxidants, the more you benefit your immune system. The more you enhance immunity . . . well, this isn’t a word problem, but you get the picture (less Kleenex, more fun). I can’t promise eating succulent, herb-roasted chicken & vegetables will miraculously keep you healthy, but it sure doesn’t hurt if it tastes good trying! If nothing else, you can impress your kids (or somebody else’s) with a rainbow bright plate.
Just because I literally saw a rainbow this morning, love photography, colorful foods, and sometimes a little Paul Simon, here’s a little music while you cook, Kodachrome, cheers!Pin It