Make your dinner even simpler by adding some vegetables to the chicken roasting pan. (You will likely have less pan juices, so if you’re making a gravy you may need to use more stock.) You can use the onion slices to elevate your chicken (or use a rack and tuck onions and vegetables all around the bird.)

You can also follow the same recipe using a larger chicken  (and a bigger pan) for a bigger group; it will simply take longer to roast, approximately 15 to 18 minutes per pound. For a larger roaster, you may need to remove the vegetables a bit earlier or cut them into larger pieces.

This recipe calls for salting the bird a day ahead, a method I talk about in the article, There's More Than One Way to Roast A Chicken. But if you haven't had time to do that, just salt the bird 30 minutes ahead of roasting. 

Editor's note: Toss some lemon slices in to roastwith the vegetables for even more flavor.  

Serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2–4 1/2 pounds
  • 2–3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil or butter to rub on chicken
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick slices
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 parsnips (or potatoes to substitute), peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Olive oil for vegetables
  • Salt, to taste

1. The day before roasting the chicken, remove packaging and giblets. Place chicken in a bowl and sprinkle all over with salt and black pepper, including a bit of salt inside the cavity. Place uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. Take chicken out about 30 minutes before roasting.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub chicken with a little olive oil or softened butter. Arrange onion slices in the center of a roasting pan or glass baking dish, and place chicken, breast side up, atop the onions (this allows air circulation under the chicken).

3. In a large bowl, lightly coat carrots and parsnips with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and toss. Place vegetables around chicken and put in oven to roast. After 30 minutes, stir the vegetables.

4. After approximately 70 to 80 minutes total, insert a thermometer into the thigh (without touching a bone). When thermometer reads about 170 degrees, the meat is cooked. Remove bird from oven.

5. Place chicken on a cutting board or dish, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Remove vegetables to a bowl and reheat if necessary when ready to serve.