Better Than the BEST? You Take the Test.

Remember my recent blog titled “Simply the BEST Roasted Chicken” (shown below) from a few weeks ago? Well, here’s a sister recipe that’s just as simple and perhaps even a bit tastier—if that’s possible, and to Russ it was. Me? I may have to grudgingly admit this one may have been a skooch tastier.

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The process is the same, but the dry rub and surrounding vegetable ingredients are different. This time I didn’t have the luxury to let the salted chicken sit uncovered in the fridge overnight, but it did get 4 hours (the minimum is one hour.) AND, being huge fans of the allium family, a major addition I made was include 4 large shallots to the fennel and baby carrots.

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Two other minor changes that I did was roast the bird for 1 1/2 hours total because it weighed a bit over 4 pounds, then let it rest for 45 minutes to recirculate and release the juices. Which BTW, make sure to spoon over your meat and veggies. OMG, it was super tasty and succulent. The veggies practically melted in my mouth! Afterward, we were both enthusiastically holding two thumbs up and purring…

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TIP: You may want to save some of the fennel fronds to add as garnish on your meat and/or veggie platters for a bright pop of color.

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Ingredients
  • 1 3½–4-pound whole chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into 6 wedges each; saving fronds for garnish if desired
  • 1 pound small baby carrots, scrubbed and diagonally cut into 4″-long pieces
  • 4 large shallots, halved (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dry Rub:

  1. 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  2. 1 tsp. black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt, inside and out. (Use 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt per lb.) Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Let sit 1 hour to allow salt to penetrate, or chill, uncovered, up to 1 day ahead.
  2. Place a rack in upper third of oven and set a 12″ cast-iron skillet (or 3-qt. enameled cast-iron baking dish) on rack. Preheat oven to 425°.
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  3. Take chicken out of fridge.
  4. Meanwhile, grind dry rub ingredients in a spice grinder.
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  5. Toss fennel wedges, carrots and shallots (if using), and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once oven reaches temperature, pat chicken dry with paper towels (especially the underside) and lightly coat with half of remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with dry rub.
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  7. Drizzle remaining oil into hot skillet (this helps keep the chicken from sticking and tearing the skin.) Place chicken in the center of skillet and arrange fennel mixture around.
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  8. Roast until vegetables are golden brown and tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breasts registers 155°, 50–60 minutes (temperature will climb to 165° as chicken rests.) Let chicken rest in skillet at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes. Baste some of the juices over the chicken and veggies while it rests.
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  9. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve. Serve with vegetables.
    Do not carve until the bird has rested for at least 20 minutes.
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Adapted recipe from Chris Morocco from Bon Appétit

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