Sooooo I’ve been eating meat. Here’s the scoop before we get into the recipe:
In 2018 I stopped eating meat and animal products like dairy, to a) help reduce my fibroid symptoms and b) because I was raised as a Rasta and ate no meat at all, I just felt better with a more plant-based diet. I only started allowing chicken into my diet in 2008. Once I became pregnant a few months ago, all of that changed. I don’t have outlandish craving for meats (aside from Jamaican oxtail! My baby clearly knows its heritage lol) but the convenience of access to food at all times of the night, whenever I get hungry and my inability to stick to meal planning for my boyfriend and I (two people of different diets), kinda took my diet to shit. However, instead of beating myself up about it, I’ve decided to go with the flow for now. I still try to get just as many fruits and veggies into my system as I can, but I am also aware that I am pregnant, and for all the other things that can induce my stress, I can’t have food be one of them too.
That all being said, as soon as this baby is born, I’m going back to my 90% plant-based diet (I just really love fish!). Of course I want to save the planet and all that but mostly, meat slows me down and gives me a brain fog like no other. I am DEFINITELY not my best when eating it and it’s noticeable. Anywho, that’s the spiel on that. Keep scrolling for my easy, go-to Roast Chicken recipe that serves 4-6 or can be stretched to multiple meals for two people with busy schedules!
I’ve included two different methods below. One for roasting in a cast iron and the other is if you’re just using a regular roasting dish. Seasoning and ingredients are the same.
1 Small whole chicken, gizzards removed (I get mine from Whole Foods)
herb and lemon seasoning (I get packet from Whole Foods, too)
1 large white onion
1 heads of garlic
butter (or in my case, earth balance)
carrots and potatoes (if you have the extra pan space!)
If you don’t wash your chicken, that is a strange strange practice. Toss your bird in a big bowl and let it sit for a bit with equal parts vinegar and water. After about 10 minutes in its bath, I go in with the lime (sliced in half) and start scrubbing vigorously. Lift up those wings, get under those thighs. If I’m going to be eating chicken, I need a clean bird. Rinse and pat dry.
As you can see, I haven’t put any measurements for the spices and herbs. Honestly, I don’t measure them. I eyeball it all. I like lots of flavor so I tend to use a lot more. Feel free to adjust the seasoning levels to your liking. However, if your friends say that your bird was unseasoned, don’t blame me. lol.
Lightly drizzle the bird with olive oil so that the seasonings have something to stick to. Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper, lemon pepper and the herb and lemon seasoning. Next you’ll want massage everything into the bird. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies! We want flavor everywhere!
Roughly chop a few leaves of the rosemary, thyme and sage and set that aside as well as a few cubes of butter. We’ll be using it later.
Slice 1 lemon in half. Quarter the large onion, slice the garlic bulb in half so that you have a top and bottom. No need to remove the skin. Combine your remaining rosemary, thyme and sage into a little bundle and stuff the cavity with the bundle, garlic halves and lemon.
Slice two small slits into the skin of each breast. Take the cubed pieces of butter and roll them into the chopped herbs. Carefully slip the butter beneath the slits you made in the skin of the chicken breast. This will add more flavor and help keep the breast juicy while cooking.
I like to baste the chicken every 30 minutes or so. It will produce tons of juice and adding it back to the bird is a great way to keep it moist.
Roast the bird for about 1 and 1/2 hours. (Check below for specific temperatures depending on the pan you’re using)
Once done, remove from the oven, cover with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes. After that you can remove all the goodies from the cavity and slice away! The flesh should be nice and moist while the skin has a nice little crisp to it.
You can serve with whichever sides you like. I’ll sometimes do sautéed garlicky kale and mashed potatoes or some roasted carrots and rosemary potatoes. Either way, it’s a hearty meal that will either last you a few days or have your dinner guests in awe!
IF USING A CAST IRON PAN
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a cast iron pan in the oven to preheat as well. I like using a cast iron because the chicken is usually small and I love the crispy texture I get when I preheat the cast iron before adding the chicken.
You’ll want to do these next few steps in another large bowl or dish if using the cast iron method since we’ll be transferring the chicken.
Once preheated to 425, carefully remove the cast iron from the oven and add some butter to the hot pan. Place the bird in the pan and then quickly add the quartered onion slices around the sides. You can even stuff a few slices into the cavity if you have room. Place the chicken in the oven and drop the temperature to 400 degrees.
IF USING A REGULAR ROASTING DISH
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Once preheated, place the pan (with your well-seasoned bird) in the oven and roast for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Baste the bird with juices every 30 minutes or so.
Whenever I do this in the roasting pan method, I’ll add carrots and potatoes to the pan since I have the extra pan space. You’ll want to give them a quick toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and rosemary, before
Nothing like roasting the carrots and potatoes in all that juice and flavor!