Roast Chicken w/ Sweet Potatoes + Brussels Sprouts
Whenever I go home to Kentucky, I realize there’s a gaping hole in my heart where the concept of family dinner used to reside. I miss family dinners. Dinners with a huge main course, all the sides and conversation to go around for hours. When the table is cleared and everyone is still sitting, well that’s the best part really. That’s when the deep conversations happen, when everyone’s belly is full and the relaxation starts to set in.
When you live in a fast paced city like New York and have no kids, mealtime is pared down a bit. The options are simple: takeout or whipping something up real quick, like tacos. We don’t get too fancy too often. In other words, I miss mom sitting at the end of the table prodding me to finish every last bite. “Oh, you don’t want that last bit of mashed potatoes? There’s just a little bit there. Here, I know you want it (as she scoops the rest of the potatoes onto my plate)." And God forbid you don’t take the potatoes. No, no you don’t want the look of disappointment that sweeps across her face (lol) so you accept the food and eat every bit. Hahaha. I think that's why she likes Asher so much -- because he eats every last bite when everyone else is long gone. Way to go, babe. Anyway, my point is that I MISS these family style meals. Somehow the ritual makes me feel safe, provided for. The bounty is plentiful, there is no lack. And even though I do rush around more than I should in New York, I’m still a Kentucky girl at heart and I have my own family style meals up my sleeve for days when I just need to slow. on. down. You know? Isn’t it interesting that all around the world, we all stop what we’re doing to eat, usually with another person? Isn’t the art of enjoying meals in community a sacred thing? This practice should be cherished and kept in a special place so it never becomes lost.
And that’s where this roast chicken recipe comes in.
This has GOT to be my favorite recipe of all time. If you’ve ever been to my house, you’ve probably had my roast chicken. I love it, end of story. I recently tweaked my recipe and made it even better, because of my friend Jennie Boone. I went to her house for dinner one night and she introduced me to Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe. I knew that combining my old roast chicken technique with some of Gwyneth’s strategies would make my DREAM roast chicken and off we went. I know it's a bit of extra work to add the veggies in at separate times, but I promise this guarantees that there will be NO SOGGINESS. The chicken broth and olive oil combination with the lemon is a no brainer. It's citrusy, warm, comfy and feels like an indulgence while nourishing the body in that good old fashion way. Enjoy!
Roast Chicken w/ Brussels sprouts & Sweet Potatoes
Inspired and adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe (thanks, Jennie Boone!)
- 1-3 to 4 pound free range chicken, washed and dried
- 1 lemon, halved
- 6 garlic cloves
- Fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, etc.
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil (to coat chicken)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks
- Brussels sprouts (can be adjusted to how many people you’re serving), halved
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Rinse and pat the chicken dry and tie the legs together.
- Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Put olive oil on your hands and pat the oil from your hands onto the bird (make sure it starts dry) so that it JUST coats it, not too much. Make sure to get into every crevice. I literally just pour some olive oil into my hands, rub them together and pat, pat, pat the bird. Salt and pepper the bird liberally.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over top and stuff the lemon halves in the cavity of the chicken, or just put in the pan. Put the fresh herbs (several sprigs) and a few garlic cloves in the cavity, as well. Add the rest of the garlic cloves to the pan.
- Cover the pan with tin oil and roast for about 15 minutes. After that time, remove the foil, baste with any juices from the chicken and add the sweet potatoes to the pan with a teeny bit of olive oil. Roast for an additional 10 minutes uncovered and then add the Brussels sprouts. Baste the veggies with any juices from the chicken. If needed, add an extra glug of olive oil and sprinkle the veggies with salt/pepper. Make sure the veggies are mixed and coated around the chicken. Roast everything together for the remaining 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF and the skin is browned and crispy. You’ll also want to make sure the sweet potatoes are tender and roasted through.
- Taste the vegetables and season to taste. Feel free to add extra lemon juice if that's your jam.
- Pull the chicken out, let it rest for 20 minutes and slice.