Does the thought of putting dinner in the oven make you sweat? Not because the oven is hot, but because you have no idea what to do with the dang thing? Pre-heat? Bake? Broil? Boil? Recently, one of our lovely POUND HQ ladies confessed her own fear of using the oven to us.
It got us thinking: How many other people out there are missing out on all the delicious and simple oven-baked meals? That’s why we took it upon ourselves to demystify and debunk the oven in one easy, tasty swoop. We promise that this recipe will conquer your fear of using the oven, but you’ll also create a delicious tasting, complete meal to show for it. It’s also a $15 complete meal that feeds up to six people!
Start by selecting’ your bird. This is half the battle, and it’s a battle you don’t have to fight alone. Head to your local butcher and ask for a 3-5lb whole, free range, hormone-free, organic chicken. Now, you can either ask your butcher to “pre-clean” the chicken for you (which means removing all the innards and the tail end—we recommend this) or you can brave this task at home.
If you’re shopping for chicken at your local grocery store and don’t have a butcher’s brain to pick, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Try to purchase chicken labeled “raised without antibiotics.” This means the flock was raised without antibiotics to maintain health, prevent disease or treat disease.
- Pastured or pasture-raised chicken is different than free-range. Technically, processors can use “free-range” on their packaging if their chickens have access to the outdoors for part of the day vs pasture-raised chickens which have much more freedom and access to natural nutrients
- Always read labels carefully and look for organic, natural, no hormones added, low-sodium, etc.
Then, bring the little birdie home with you, give him a good wash with cool water in the sink, and start prepping your marinade and veggies.
- 2 T Olive Oil
- ½ t thyme, chopped
- ½ t rosemary, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ t Salt
- 1-2 t red wine vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 3 lb chicken, cleaned
- 1 bunch of heirloom carrots
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered/cut in sixths
- 2-3 golden beets
- ½ t Salt
- ¼ t pepper
- 1 lemon sliced
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves
- Sprigs of rosemary + thyme
- Extra Olive Oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 450*
- Boil water and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan.
- Add carrots and golden beets. Remove carrots after 2-3 minutes and leave beets for an additional 15-20 minutes, until you can easily stick a fork in them
- Cut beets and uncooked fennel into small slices.
- In a large bowl, combine olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, lemon and vinegar. Mix in vegetables, coating evenly.
- Make sure your chicken is cleaned (remember, it’s best to have your butcher do this!) Rinse with cool water and dry.
- Place chicken in a baking pan and surround with marinated vegetables.
- Pour the remaining marinade evenly over the top of the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Place lemon slices, rosemary sprigs and thyme around or inside the chicken
- Place the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes @ 450*F. Then, reduce the temperature to 350*F and roast for 20 minutes per pound (60 minutes for 3lb chicken) or until the meat thermometer reads 165*F.
Starting with all-in-one recipes like this one is a great way to get more comfortable in the kitchen. Give this chicken a go and share it with your family this holiday season!