Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables

Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables
A turkey-less Thanksgiving? Try this recipe for stuffed chicken with roasted root vegetables.
For Chicken:
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ medium-sized onion, diced
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped sage, parsley, thyme or rosemary
  • 4 cups soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1 large good-quality roasting chicken (4 to 5 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lemon
For Vegetables:
  • 8 small carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 2 small parsnips, halved and cut into wedges
  • 12 large shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Prepare chicken: Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add in diced onion and cook over a very low heat for 5 minutes or until completely softened. Mix in lemon zest, freshly chopped herbs and breadcrumbs. Season this mixture lightly. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Stuff cavity of chicken with breadcrumb mixture. Add half a lemon, to keep stuffing in place and for additional flavor. Place chicken onto a roasting tray with a rack (it allows air to circulate under the bird and helps brown the skin all over). Toss vegetables in oil and add thyme, place in pan under the bird, so they catch all the drippings.
  4. Loosen skin of chicken. Take additional butter and gently massage it into the breasts under the skin of the bird. (I also rubbed butter all over the outside of the chicken.) Sprinkle a little bit of salt and cracked black pepper over the skin. (You can add grated garlic, grated lemon, herbs and spices to taste for a little more excitement.) If you like, tie the chicken’s legs together at the ankles with one piece of twine, and then use another piece of twine to tie the wings to the breast.
  5. If you don’t have a roasting pan with a rack, place the vegetables in the pan first and rest the chicken on top. to prop the bird off the pan.
  6. Transfer chicken to oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and cook chicken and vegetables for another hour or until the juices run clear. The meat, particularly on the legs and thighs, should feel tender. Turn vegetables from time to time so they brown on all sides. Check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh; it should read 165 degrees.
  7. Put vegetables on a serving platter, correct seasoning and place roasted chicken on top.