I think roasted chicken was the first convenience food— it's not fast but about as hands off as you can get for a decent dinner. Plus, it is my fall back meal when I am fresh out of creative dinner options. Liz was over and mentioned her Mom used to stuff roasted chickens with apples— a twist on chicken I couldn't wait to try. As I was rooting through the fruit in my fridge, I noticed there were pears and grapes that were perilously close to their expiration date— if an apple was a good idea, pears and grapes were a brilliant idea.
I roast two chickens at a time for a couple of reasons— there are hungry people in my family and any leftovers can be re-purposed as a sandwich or salad for lunch. I guess that leads me to another question, 'what is better than leftover roasted chicken for lunch'? I'll save my answer for another post, I need to think about it.
Roasted Chicken With Roots & Fruits
2 4 - 5 pound whole chickens, preferably free range 2 apples, cut in half 2 pears, cut in half 1 1/2 cups red grapes 5 carrots, peeled and sliced 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 onions, peeled and sliced 4 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper
Preparation Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Salt and pepper the interior of the chicken and place on baking sheet, lined with parchment. Place one apple, pear and a couple slices of onion in the cavity of each bird. Drizzle olive oil over each bird, rub to spread it evenly and liberally apply salt and pepper all over the chicken. Place the remaining onion, parsnips, sweet potatoes, grapes and carrots around the chickens. Toss with the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in oven. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes and then move to a platter. Arrange the vegetables around the chickens, pour any accumulated pan juices over the vegetables, carve and serve.