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I could use some help with tonight's roast chicken and root vegetables, please.

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The whole chicken is marinating in lemon, garlic, and rosemary and I'd like to cook it over a bed of root veggies. I have potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onion.

Should I set the chicken right on top of the vegetables in the pan or use a rack over the vegetables?
Also, at what temp and for how long?

I roast chickens all the time, and I roast vegetables, too, but wanted to do them in the same pan if possible.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. You know, it really shouldn't be a problem either way. What I like to do is keep the chicken close to the vegies so that it bastes them. I do a bed of vegies, but instead of a rack, I used twisted foil (heavy-duty) to create a rack that isn't much suspended over the vegies. I suppose either would work fine, but i'm a critter of habit, and it makes me happy when i see a nice, richly-browned chicken nestling a bed of beautiful veggies, not doing a highwire act above them. If browning is the issue, crank your oven to 500 for the last 20 minutes; I can pretty much guarantee browned, crispy chicken and awesome veggies with this method.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      Thanks, mamachef. Your twisted foil idea is great, I'll use it tonight. The only thing better than a roasted chicken is roast chicken with roasted vegetables!

      1. re: mamachef

        In addition to mamachef, I would also suggest spatchcocking the chicken and laying it over the vegetables. You'll get a nice even browning and all the parts will cook evenly without the breast drying out.

      2. How big is the chicken? It help to know when recommending a temperature and time.
        I like using a rack with veggies.
        I start the chicken and veggies out in a dry pan. That way, I can get some caramelization. After about 20 minutes or so, I start to add some chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and allow the veggies to braise and cook through while the chicken drips juices into the pan.

        1. Thomas Keller puts the chicken right on the veggies.

          1. Well, I made my twisted foil "rack" and then when I put the chicken on the pan of vegetables I forgot to use it! Found it later sitting on the counter...oh, brother.

            I think I had too many veggies in the pan because it never got as carmelized and luscious as it usually does. To much liquid and steam, I suppose. I cooked at high heat, the chicken was crispy outside and very juicy inside. Vegetables were good, just not great.

            Thanks to all for the help. Sometimes it is the simplest things that hang me up.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bon oeuf

              I butterfly the chicken and then lay it across a single layer of vegetables and roast at very high temp, 425. It's an adaptation of this Ina Garten recipe, because I want every inch of chicken skin to be crispy: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

              1. re: mcf

                Very nice. I think my mistake was adding too many vegetables to the pan. They just couldn't get that beautiful, sweet,carmelized browning. BIG difference.

            2. I roast my chickens on a low, almost flat rack & surround the rack with veggies, at 425 degrees. As long as the chicken is patted dry, and the veggies have a light toss with oil, I've never had a problem with getting that delicious carmelization on the veggies. Sometimes I stir up the veggies part way thru cooking, other times I leave them alone. IMO, the veggies are always tastier when roasted with the bird!

              1. I always find it easier to use 2 pans, one for the bird and one for the veg. I feel like I have better control that way. I can also just suck up a little chicken juice in my baster and spritz the veggies with it to give it a little chicken essence.