If there's one thing I learned while living in England, it's that Sundays are for roast dinners. Roast chicken is a meal that intimidated me (it felt so grown up!) but once I mastered it, it quickly became a staple in our home. So crank your oven, crack open a bottle of wine (wine is a necessary part of Sunday roast preparation so don't skip it. Look, I don't make the rules, I just follow them,) and get ready to fill your kitchen with feel-good-food smells.
1 onion, peeled and sliced into eighths
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 apple, roughly chopped
1 lemon, washed and cut into sixths (leave the skin on! You're going to get lots of beautiful lemony flavour from the skin)
salt and pepper
small bunch fresh rosemary (or thyme or other herb of your choice), finely chopped
1 (2 - 2.5kg) roasting chicken
4 - 6 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix onion, carrots, squash, apple, and lemon in large roasting pan. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add rosemary (or your favourite fresh herb), salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Give your chicken a quick rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Place on top of veg in roasting pan. Rub 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into skin. Place garlic in chicken cavity. Season chicken liberally, inside cavity and out, with salt and pepper.
Roast in preheated oven for 90 minutes, until juices run clear and meat thermometer registers 170F. Baste chicken periodically with cooking juices (I usually do it at 45, 60, and 75 minutes). I also give the veg a bit of a stir whenever I baste the chicken to make sure they're not sticking to the bottom and getting too golden. (Hi, I am my parents. I refuse to call things burnt. Things are just varying stages of golden.)
Remove roasting pan from oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove lemons, carve chicken, and serve with roasted veg. In a perfect world, I'd pair this with steamed broccoli or salad to add a green component but real talk: sometimes green things do not find their way to our plates.