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Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken



  • 1 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 bulb fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Chef notes

    Newly engaged Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently revealed that they were enjoying a quiet night at home cooking roasted chicken when the Prince popped the big question.

    Ina Garten has always believed in the romantic power of a perfectly prepared bird. She congratulated the couple on Twitter with a nod to their engagement dinner dish of choice.

    This delicious roasted chicken with root vegetables and fresh herbs is sure to make sparks fly between you and your sweetheart.



    Preheat the oven to 425°F.


    Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.


    Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.


    Roast the chicken for 1½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh (the internal temperature should reach 165°F on an instant read thermometer).


    Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

    Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten © 1999. All Rights Reserved.

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