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Whole roasted chicken on a bed of root vegetables

It’s been a while since we roasted a whole chicken and we decided to begin the Mondo Dinner weekly features with a Thomas Keller recipe. This one is part of the book Ad hoc at home, family style recipes which is full with great and simple ideas to delight your family or friends.

You will need

One 4- to 41/2-pound chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
6 thyme springs
2 large leeks
3 tennis-ball-sized rutabagas
2 tennis-ball-sized turnips
4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut in half
1 small yellow onion, trimmed, leaving root end intact, and cut into quarters
8 small (golf-ball-sized) red-skinned potatoes
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

How to do it

Remove the chicken form the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Remove the neck and innards if they are still in the cavity of the chicken. Using a paring knife, cut out the wishbone from the chicken. (This will make easy to carve the chicken).Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper, add 3 of the garlic cloves and 5 springs of thyme, and massage the inside of the bird to infuse it with the flavors. Truss the chicken.

Cut off the dark green leaves from the top of the leeks. Trim off and discard any darkened outer layers. Trim the root ends, cutting around them on a 45-degree angle. Slit the leeks lengthwise almost in half, starting 1/2 inch above the root ends. Rinse the leeks well under warm water.

Cut off both ends of the rutabagas. Stand the rutabagas on end and cut away the skin, working from top to bottom and removing any tough outer layers. Cut into 3/4 – inch wedges. Repeat with the turnips, cutting the wedges to match the size of the rutabagas.

Combine all the vegetables and the remaining garlic cloves and thyme spring in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in a large cast-iron skillet or a roasting pan.

Rub the remaining oil all over the chicken. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Make a nest in the center of the vegetables and nestle the chicken in it. Cut the butter into 4 or 5 pieces and place over the chicken breast.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the temperature registers 160°F in the meatiest portion of the bird–the thighs, and under the breast where the thigh meets the breast–and the juices run clear. If necessary, return the bird to the oven for more roasting; check it every 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a caving board and let rest for 20 minutes.

Just before serving, set the pan of vegetables over medium heat and reheat the vegetables, turning them and glazing them with the pan juices.

Cut the chicken into serving pieces, arrange over the vegetables and serve.

Claudia Sandoval

Travel and food visual storytelling

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