I've been thinking about the best foods to eat after a long day of hiking. For me, I'm usually craving something salty, savory, and filling. After an entire afternoon of sweet energy bars and fruit, the last thing I want is something sweet for dinner as well. And don't even get me started on salad. One of my favorite go-to meals is a massive roast chicken. I've adapted and modified a lot of recipes available online and made it into something simpler for those of us who don't have the space for a comprehensive kitchen kit. The reasons I love roast chicken are simple. It's easy to make, packed with protein, and stretches your dollar.
Serves: 4 hungry people
Total Prep and Cook Time: 2 hr 20 min
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced. Keep celery leaves if available
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- one whole chicken
- a medium-sized batch of parsley
- 1/2 of a lemon
- a few sprigs of thyme (or rosemary if you don't have thyme)
- salt and pepper
- a few cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 (2 tbsp) of butter
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat dry. Season your chicken inside and out generously with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter into a skillet. Put the minced garlic in for about 30 seconds and then add your diced carrots, celery, and onion. Let it cook over medium heat until softened. At the last minute, add your parsley, thyme, and celery leaves.
- Once your vegetables are all cooked, stuff it inside the chicken. Slice 2 or 3 lemon slices and put in inside the cavity too.
- Put the stuffed chicken inside the oven for a total of 1 hr and 20 minutes. Check on the chicken at:
15 minutes: Rub the chicken with the rest of your butter. Then turn the oven down to 350F
40 minutes: Squeeze the rest of your lemon around the chicken
1 hr: Baste with the pan juices. You can take your chicken out of the oven and tilt the pan sideways, using a spoon to cover the chicken repeatedly with the juice. While the chicken is out of the oven, test the temperature at the thickest parts of the chicken (shoulder, breast). If it is not at 165F, put it back in the oven until it is done.
- Once the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Serve with brown rice and any vegetable. My favorites are pan fried brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, or roasted asparagus. Don't forget to save the chicken bones for a healthy and savory chicken stock!