Roast Chicken with Vegetables
3 1/2 pound whole chicken
1 medium onion (root intact), cut into eighths
1 bunch of fresh thyme
4 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 plump carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 plump parsnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
Set the oven at 475 degrees. Have a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan on hand, or another pan that will hold the chicken and vegetables comfortably.
Remove the giblets and the liver from the cavity of the bird. Rinse the chicken and dry it. Place 2 pieces of onion in the cavity.
Remove about 1 tablespoon of leaves from the thyme branches and set them aside.
Slip your fingers between the skin and flesh of the bird at the neck end to make a pocket. Still using your fingers, slip 1 tablespoon of the butter and about 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme leaves onto the breast flesh and as far to the side as you can. Use 2 more tablespoons of the butter to rub onto the outside of the bird. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Slip the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into the cavity, along with the remaining thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with string.
In the roasting pan, toss the remaining onions, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper.
Place the bird, breast side down, on top of the vegetables. Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Turn it onto its back (use tongs or a two-pronged fork) and continue roasting for 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and turn it breast down again. Turn the vegetables. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue roasting for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees.
Let the chicken rest in the pan for 10 minutes in a warm place. Remove the string.
Use kitchen shears to carve the bird into 8 pieces — 2 wings with a little breast meat attached, 2 breasts, 2 thighs, and 2 legs. Serve with roast vegetables.