Inspiration for tonight's dinner: aching for spring, its taste in our minds but not quite on our tongues. Hearty yet bright, Citrus Olive Cous Cous sparkles with briny green olives and tangy orange juice. Serve with Lemon and Onion Roasted Chicken accompanied by the last of those wintery root vegetables, and bid good riddance-- or, if you're feeling generous, a fond farewell -- to winter!
Serves 4 portions
3 large carrots, peeled
3 parsnips, peeled
1 fennel bulb, quartered
2 handfuls Fingerling potatoes
1 large sweet onion, quartered
1 sweet potato, cut in medium chunks
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 4 to 5 pound roasting chicken
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary
1 large onion
6 to 8 sage leaves
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Choose any of the vegetable selections in any combination you like. Cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" glass baking dish or roasting pan with the vegetables. Sprinkle 1 Teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables. Use your hands to smear the vegetables thoroughly with the salt, pepper and oil.
3. Thoroughly wash the chicken, and pat dry. Salt and pepper the chicken cavity, and throw in the garlic cloves and either rosemary or thyme as well. Place the chicken breast side up on top of the vegetables in the baking dish.
4. Peel the onion and slice crosswise, keeping the onion slices intact, and making each slice about 1/4" to 1/3" wide. Basically you will have about 8 onion "plates" of various sizes.
5. Run your hand under the breast skin, releasing the skin from the meat. Run your fingers under the legs as well to separate the skin from the meat.
6. Take the larger onion segments and place them under the skin, 2 segments per side of the breast. Take the smaller onion segments and place them under the leg skin. Any remaining, loose onion slices can be thrown into the cavity.
7.Slide 6 or 8 sage leaves under the skin, and you can place them on top of the onion slices. Conversely, you can place a sage leaf on each onion segment as you slide the onions under the skin.
8. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice all over the chicken, working the lemon into the skin with your hands. Thrown the lemon halves into the cavity.
9. Rub the remaining olive oil all over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper over the bird.
10. Place the bird in the middle of the oven. Baste the bird occasionally with the pan juices that accumulate. The chicken will be done in 80 to 90 minutes. Test the bird for doneness by wriggling the leg, and if the leg comes out of the joint easily the chicken is done.
11. Let the chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving. To serve, place the chicken on a serving platter, surrounded by the roasted vegetables. Serve the jus on the side.
1 Fennel bulb
2 handfuls fingerling potatoes
3 sweet onions
1 sweet potato
1 4-5 lb chicken
1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous
10 salty green olives
Fresh Thyme or Rosemary (a sprig or so of each)
A few sage leaves
We assume you have olive oil, lemons, salt, pepper and garlic in your fridge and pantry! Heck - you might even have a few of the fresh herbs and root vegetables on this grocery list, which would be pretty neat because you're just that much closer to dinner time.
1. This dinner tonight is a little more time consuming then usual, but it involves roasting a (small) chicken, so you already knew that. (It'll be worth it though, again, because it involves a whole roast chicken.) Anyway, that chicken needs to get into the oven first thing, so set your sights on that bird. Chop up all those root vegetables, and stuff some lovely aromatics into the cavity of the chicken. Into the oven it goes: 80 minutes at 375.
2. The couscous will take 40 minutes at the most, so this is a good time to mix a cocktail and talk about your day with your favorite people. Or, if it's been a long & trying kind of day, just pick something juicy from the DVR and veg out.
3. By now you're settled in and officially relaxed, and making the couscous should be kind of fun. So do it! Yum.
4. Plate it up! Roasted chicken and vegetables, lemony and rich rounded out with a mound of chewy and flavorful couscous. Dinner is served!
To find more recipes like these, or to share some of your own, come join our amazing community of home cooks at food52.com!