easier than you think: lemon roasted chicken & vegetables

chicken ready to roast

One of my favorite meals is a roasted chicken. I’m always shocked when I hear that people just don’t make it from scratch. Sure it’s easy to pick up a roasted bird from Whole Foods, but c’mon, this doesn’t take much fuss and everyone will love you for it.

mmmm, chicken

The key is to use a good bird. I picked an organic, free run bird from a local farm. Another tip is to not get too fussy with it. The Buchon recipe for a super simple roasted chicken which I’ve written about here is fantastic, but subbing in some dried greek oregano for the fresh thyme and then adding in lemon gives this meal a different twist.  The oregano comes by way of my in-laws, who picked some up for me on their last trip to Greece. It’s a bit special in that it hasn’t been crushed yet so the stems and bulbs are left whole, but using regular oregano from your supermarket will be just fine. Lemon is also added for a bit of citrus zing.

This simple roasted dinner comes with vegetables: carrots, fennel, onion and potatoes are roasted under the bird round out the meal. Make a simply dressed green salad and you’re laughing.


elsewhere: Over at ReadyMade I lament that while it feels like spring outside, the farmer’s market suggests winter. See how I try to make the best of cabbage, kale and carrots (including a bonus recipe for braised carrots!)

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33 comments to “easier than you think: lemon roasted chicken & vegetables”

  1. 1
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)   March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I agree! Roasting a chicken is pretty simple… but yet sometimes seems so much easier to pick up that pre-roasted bird on salt for 5.99. I like that you used fennel! I don’t normally roast my chicken with veggies, but I thinkI need to start! -Mary

  2. 2
    Bijoux   March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Oh yes, I know the oregano you are referring to. It smells like the Greek mountainside. Just watch out for the splinters. I usually find them stuck in my teeth. I really dislike those ready to go roast chickens from the supermarket. They smell weird. Maybe because they are sitting in a plastic take-out container all day. This chicken dish sounds rustic and tasty!
    I’m so envious of your in-laws trip. Oh well, I can’t complain, I’ve been to Greece a dozen times :)

  3. 3
    Renee   March 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Roast Chicken is one of my favourite favourite things too! Best smell ever.

  4. 4
    Melinda   March 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I must admit we’ve been eating Costco rotisserie birds (actually, good!), but this has given me some pause for thought about my former ways! Thanks for sharing, once again.

  5. 5
    Jabba   March 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    This sounds amazing, and since it looks like you use a big pot it fits in with our way of cooking. Oh and my mom is going to be ALL OVER this recipe. You have no idea, she loves your blog!

  6. 6
    Joanne   March 22, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I roasted my first chicken a few weeks ago and was SHOCKED at how easy it was! This looks like a great recipe and I love all those veggies buried underneath the bird!

  7. 7
    Michelle   March 22, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I love the veggies. LOVE them. I usually don’t have enough room for any meat because I can’t stop eating the roasted veggies.

  8. 8
    Maddie   March 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    This looks amazing!

    Have you ever used a stand-up roasting rack to roast chicken? My mom used one over the weekend, and although it’s pretty weird-looking, it makes for really crisp skin all over the bird. This traditional roasting method is still my fave, though. :)

  9. 9
    kickpleat   March 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Mary, the fennel was a surprising and lovely ingredient to use! It was delicious and easy to make, relatively speaking. Yes, I fall under the spell of roasted chickens at the supermarket, but sometimes there’s just no faking the real thing.

    Bijoux, I do try to remove all the stems! Yes, that oregano is great…and my inlaws are going next month to Greece – they go at least once (but sometimes twice a year) and I’m completely jealous!!

    It sure is, Renee. It smells like home.

    Melinda, at least when you buy your bird you can make the choice, factory farmed or local and organic. The roasted birds always catch you unawares!

    Jabba, I love my deep pan and it’s perfect for roasting (anything really).

    Michelle, we don’t eat meat all that often because we’re under the spell of vegetables – plus, organic meat don’t come cheap!

    Thanks Maddie! No, I’ve never tried one of those contraptions, but I know of what you speak – I think my mom had one of those!

  10. 10
    lo   March 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Love the comfort food aspect of roasted chicken — and adding a bit of zing from lemon is perfect in making the transition to spring.

    When we eat meat at our house, roasted chicken is one of our favorites!

  11. 11
    heather   March 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Few things bring a bigger smile to my face than roasted chicken. Wonderful aroma, bones for stock, leftovers for days! We’re big on the lemon + oregano combo, too.



  12. 12
    Nicole   March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I am ashamed to say I still have not roasted my own chicken despite my mom serving roasted chicken every Sunday and Wednesday of my life. My only excuse is that my husband doesn’t like chicken. I do love the sound of this chicken dish, though and love the fennel addition.

  13. 13
    SixBalloons   March 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    kickpleat, are your in-laws Greek too?

    Also, is there somewhere you would recommend buying your organic chicken? I only know of Choices…

  14. 14
    Genie   March 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I love a home cooked roast chicken as much as the next girl. But with 2 of us at home, I usually reserve a whole chicken for when we have guests for dinner. My husband is in charge of carving meat in our household but he doesn’t seem to really understand that he can just carve up enough for 2 and we can have the leftovers for lunch. Instead he carves up the whole chicken and divides the meat on 2 plates. It’s very democratic isn’t it? Which makes me wonder…the plate in your photos looks suspiciously like a dinner plate rather than a roasting or serving plate…

  15. 15
    kickpleat   March 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Lo, I agree completely!!

    Heather, yes, we always freeze the bones for stock making later on! That’s an added bonus.

    Funny that your husband doesn’t like chicken. Maybe try an organic bird as they tend to be juicier and have more flavour.

    SixBalloons, no my inlaws are not Greek (they’re dutch) but they LOVE going to Greece! Yes, you can get your chicken at Choices, Whole Foods but I’ve been buying it at the new butcher in Strathcona – Big Lou’s.

    Genie, too funny! Yes, it’s a dinner plate as we rarely, if ever, use our serving plate (I think we’ve only got 2 in our house). A dinner plate works just as well, I guess!

  16. 16
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)   March 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    This looks lovely. We have roast chicken one-two times a week, but I’ve never tried it with fennel. Will have to put some on the grocery list next week. Thanks for sharing.

  17. 17
    Brandy   March 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I love roast chicken too, and will definitely try out your recipe. I found this fantastic rub in Blueprint magazine (sadly not in print anymore) that I use. It basically is paprika, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, little cayenne pepper and salt & pepper that you combine in a bowl with a glug of olive oil. Rub on the chicken and pop into the oven or on the BBQ. Yum!

    Mmmm I see roast chicken in my future!

  18. 18
    Kathy - Panini Happy   March 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I completely agree with you! I love to roast my own chickens – smells great in the kitchen too. :-)

  19. 19
    Eva   March 23, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Oh I’m so with you on this one, I can never understand why people don’t make roast chicken from scratch! So easy to do and can all be done in one pot/roasting pan! I just made one the other night and I’m still enjoying the leftovers! It’s the perfect comfort food!

  20. 20
    Kimberley   March 23, 2011 at 11:38 am

    The smell of a chicken roasting makes me so happy. It’s been too long since I’ve prepared one. Perhaps that’ll be tonight’s dinner.

  21. 21
    kickpleat   March 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Rivki, the fennel flavour is so wonderful roasted – I think you’ll love it! Grab it while it’s still in season.

    Brandy, that rub sounds fantastic! I will definitely try it out as I love the idea of a spicy-sweet rub!

    Kathy, the smell is the best, isn’t it? It smells deeply of home.

    Indeed, Eva. This is my favorite comfort food for sure.

    Kimberley, glad I could remind you of all that good chicken goodness. Enjoy the meal and the smells!

  22. 22
    CookiePie   March 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Gorgeous! Forget picking up a bird at Whole Foods — can I just come over to your house? ;)

  23. 23
    Rochelle   March 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

    This looks so yummy, and it is soooooo easy to make. I make it quite often for my family, and while the dish itself is fantabulous, the chicken stock you can make with the leftover carcas is lovely too. The rich broth really adds to future soups or stews! Thanks for this post…. roasted chicken in always inspiring!

  24. 24
    Isabel   March 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I love roasted chicken and I love your blog! I’m glad I stumbled upon it. Looks wonderful and the food looks amazing. Can’t wait to try one of your recipes!

  25. 25
    kickpleat   March 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    CookiePie, sure c’mon over!

    Yes, Rochelle, that’s the perfect thing with chicken, nothing gets wasted! So good.

    Aw, thanks so much Isabel, your blog is lovely too!

  26. 26
    DanGarion   March 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m roasting a bird tonight. Where is the butter!? :)

    I made stock this weekend 37 cups (3 gallons) total of turkey and chicken.

  27. 27
    kickpleat   March 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    No butter, Dan! Wow, that’s a ton of stock. I’m jealous!

  28. 28
    Elle   March 28, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Oh, yeah-one of my faves! We always add fennel when roasting a chicken, too. It’s like candy-so good!

  29. 29
    kickpleat   March 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Elle, it is like candy! I was surprised at how great it was.

  30. 30
    nicole   September 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    This was tonight’s dinner: YUM!!! The chicken was so moist & the veggies were awesome. I really had no idea it could be this easy :) And a special thanks to my dear friend who recommended your site.

  31. 31
    kickpleat   September 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Nicole, so glad you enjoyed this recipe and I’m glad it was a success for you :) Hooray!

  32. 32
    Christie   April 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Tonight I made this recipe and it was a huge hit. We don’t eat much meat in our house so I was afraid to make this, but it was so wonderful to come in from the (rare) Vancouver sunshine with happy kids and a fragrant house. The vegetables tasted great with the fennel, and with desert based on your black magic cake (whip cream instead of buttercream) was amazing. Thank you so much for this blog, all of the recipes are so awesome.

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