You don’t need to sacrifice flavor while trying to save some cash. We’ve made a simple roast chicken meal that tastes anything but. Served with fresh salsa verde and satisfying rice and veggies, you won’t be giving up anything while protecting your wallet.
Ingredients1 pound medium carrots
3 small yellow onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 3- to 3 1/2-pound whole chicken
1 cup converted long-grain white rice
1 large lemon
1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut the carrots on the bias into 2-inch-long pieces, halving lengthwise any that are thicker than 1/2 inch in diameter. Toss the carrots, onions, and 5 of the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl until evenly coated, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the chicken’s backbone, removing the backbone completely, then discard or save for another use (such as making broth). Turn the chicken over, breast-side up. Using both hands, press down on the breasts to flatten the chicken. Rub all sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few good grinds of pepper. Place the chicken breast side up on top of the vegetables in the center of the baking sheet.
Bake until the chicken is golden brown and the thigh registers about 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F and continue to cook until the chicken skin is deep golden brown and the thigh registers 165 degrees F on the thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest.
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Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the rice, stir to combine and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
While the rice and chicken are cooking, finely grate the zest from half the lemon. Cut the lemon in half crosswise; juice half and cut the other half into wedges for serving. Place the lemon zest and juice, cilantro, parsley, remaining garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Drizzle in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil while pulsing to combine. Season the salsa verde with salt and pepper.
Place the rice on one side of a serving platter and the roasted vegetables on the other. Top with the chicken. Drizzle the chicken and rice with any of the juices that remain in the pan. Serve with the salsa verde and lemon wedges.