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We’ve reached that time of year again when the days are long and the daylight is short. There is no better time to bundle up in your coziest flannel and make a good roast dinner for your loved ones. Roasting a whole chicken is something that every meat-eating home cook should know how to do. It may sound intimidating, but it truly couldn’t be easier. Pile whatever vegetables you have on hand around it, give it a good drizzle and an hour and a half, and you’ve got a full meal for 3-4 people. You can even save the bones to make soup for your next dinner!

Flannel Season Roast Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ – 4 Lb roasting chicken, trussed, giblets removed
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb small Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 lb sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ in slices
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 large shallots, skin on, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, skin on, halved crosswise
  • 1 lemon, halved crosswise
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 sprigs thyme

Directions:

Pat your chicken dry all over with paper towels (no need to rinse it—any bacteria that would rinse off will burn off during cooking, and this way you won’t get chicken juice all over your sink!). Mix salt, sumac, and pepper together in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over all sides of the chicken. You will have seasoning mix left over—reserve this for the vegetables.

Place your seasoned chicken on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and allow it to sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours. This dry-brine will give you a chicken with juicy meat and crisp skin. Note: If you don’t have 24 hours, don’t panic! Seasoning right before cooking will still give you a tasty chicken.

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The next day, preheat your oven to 425°F. Place chicken on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan. Arrange the potatoes, sunchokes, squash, carrots, shallots, garlic and lemon all around the chicken. Pour melted butter over the chicken and vegetables until they are evenly coated. Sprinkle reserved seasoning mix over the vegetables and distribute the thyme sprigs evenly throughout the dish.

Roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part between the leg and breast reads 160°F—about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes (the meat will come up to 165°F while resting, which is the ideal temperature). If you don’t have a meat thermometer, make a cut between the leg and breast—if the juices that run out are clear, your chicken is done. If they are pink or red, it needs more time.

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Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the roasted vegetables and lemons to a dish. Note: The roasted lemons and garlic cloves are great for dipping the chicken and vegetables into! Reserve pan juice and pour over each dish before serving.