If I could choose one go-to recipe that does it all, this would be it. The humble roast chicken and veggie combo is truly an every occasion recipe, from a weekday lunch to feed multiple family members, a meal-planning recipe to feed me for many days, or a special dinner for friends. This sheet pan whole roast chicken vegetable confit works EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Why does this chicken recipe stand out from the rest? The vegetable confit! Yes, the chicken is juicy and perfect, but the vegetables are the star and the chicken knows it. Don’t be afraid to use the full amount of olive oil in the ingredients list. The oil is simply used to cook the vegetables in an environment where they are not allowed to dry out, think tender, and caramelized. At the end, you’ll collect all of this delicious infused oil, and save it to add to anything you want to make delicious in the future—yes, even if it’s just to dip some bread as a midnight snack, trust me it’s crave-worthy.
So, What Is Confit?
Confit is a French term reserved for cooking meat submerged in fat and it’s great for taste, texture, and preservation, but that has changed. More and more we’re seeing it be used to cook vegetables to perfection. Try it once and you’ll never buy the small bottle of oil at the store again, olive oil being my favorite, but other fats, especially animal fats are very popular. Also, infused oils (aka the byproduct of confiting) are a culinary secret that can change your sauces and dressings from regular to unique, there’s no wasting of this liquid gold.
My Foolproof Roast Chicken Tip
As for the chicken, there are two steps that you’re welcome to skip if you’re short on time, but this is what makes the chicken fail-proof: brining and drying before cooking it. You will need to open some space in the fridge and start this the day before you roast it, but it’s so worth it. I guarantee it will take your chicken from humble to showstopper status. I hope you try it at least once and see the difference yourself.
- 1 whole chicken (3 ½ - 4 pounds)
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- 2 heads garlic, peeled whole cloves
- 2 cups brussel sprouts, damaged leaves and tough ends removed
- 2 cups fingerling potatoes
- 6-8 carrots
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- ½ cup green olives, pitted and slice
- Chicken Brining & Drying (or skip to next step if not brining) Basic brining ratio is 4 tablespoons of salt for every 4 cups of water. Dilute the salt in the water, to do this you can heat up the water a bit but make sure the brine comes back to room temperature before adding to the chicken. The amount of water will depend on the vessel you use to brine the chicken, just make sure the brine fully covers the chicken and you can use a heavy plate over the chicken to keep it fully submerged. Transfer to the refrigerator for 8hrs. Take the chicken out of the brine and place it on a sheet tray lined with a couple layers of paper towels, then transfer to the refrigerator again uncovered overnight. This step will fully dry the chicken, allowing it to brown beautifully in the oven.
- Stuff & Truss The Chicken. In the cavity of the chicken insert 2 lemon halves, thyme sprigs, and 2 garlic cloves. Then truss the chicken with kitchen twine.
- Vegetable & Chicken Prep. In a big bowl toss the remainder of the garlic cloves, the brussel sprouts, the potatoes, the whole cup of olive oil and a large pinch of salt. In a half sheet tray place the carrots next to each other in a single layer right in the middle of the tray, this will be the stage for the chicken. Around the carrots pour the veggies + oil mixture and distribute it evenly. Place the last lemon halves face down, this way as the lemon cooks the lemon juices will mingle with all the other flavors. Lastly, place the chicken right over the carrots and drizzle the chicken with a bit of olive oil. *If you did not brine the chicken, thoroughly salt the chicken at this point. Do not salt the chicken if you previously brined it.
- Roasting Time. Roast the chicken and veggies, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 425° for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325°, toss the vegetables to make sure they are cooking evenly in the oil (except the carrots, since they are under the chicken) and continue cooking for about 45 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Finish. Take your masterpiece out the oven, add the olives over the vegetables and toss the vegetables one more time. Sprinkle the green onions over the vegetables, squeeze the deliciously roasted lemons over everything and enjoy!
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