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Roast Chicken with Fava Bean and English Pea Salad

David Burtka's Roast Chicken / Side Salad + Chicken Enchiladas + Chicken Tot Pie
David Burtka's Roast Chicken / Side Salad + Chicken Enchiladas + Chicken Tot PieNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Always make a roast chicken in pairs! You'll always be able to use the leftovers! To make things extra fancy, make a sauce from the drippings in the roasted pan.


  • 2 whole chickens (about 4 pounds each), patted dry
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 big handful fresh herbs (such as thyme, oregano and rosemary)
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 leeks or purple spring onions, quartered lengthwise and rinsed well
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds fava beans, shelled
  • cups English peas, shelled
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups arugula leaves, pea shoots or a mix
  • 1 bunch mint leaves (about 2 cups)
  • 3 ounces shaved Pecorino Romano (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped


For the chicken:


Preheat the oven to 425°F.


Season the chickens inside and out with a healthy amount of salt and pepper. Stuff the chickens with the fresh herbs and lemon halves, then truss the legs with kitchen twine. Put the leeks, onions, and potatoes into a large roasting pan. Nestle the chickens over the vegetables, breast-side up, making sure the chickens do not touch each other.


Roast, uncovered, until the chickens are golden brown and cooked through, about 1 hour 30 minutes. When the chickens are fully cooked, the juices will run clear when the thigh meat is poked with a sharp knife and the legs will move easily when wiggled; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should read 165°F. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the chickens stand for 15 minutes before carving.


Once the chickens and vegetables are removed from the roasting pan, set the pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook until the drippings start to bubble, then pour in the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring until the pan is completely deglazed (all the brown bits are unstuck), the wine has burned off its alcohol, and the mixture resembles a sauce, 3-4 minutes. You can also whisk in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose or Wondra flour to make a quick gravy. Pour the pan sauce over the carved chicken and serve at once.

For the salad:


Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil (the water should taste like the sea). Add the fava beans and cook until they rise to the surface, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to a medium bowl and let cool. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until they turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain the peas in a colander and set aside to cool.


Once the favas have cooled, gently squeeze the beans out of their skins; they should be bright green and tender. Discard the skins and set the peeled favas aside in a large bowl.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.


Add the arugula leaves and/or pea shoots, mint, peas, Pecorino, and half the pistachios to the bowl with the favas and toss to combine. Transfer the salad to a large platter and scatter the remaining pistachios on top. Wait to dress the salad until right before serving so the greens don't get soggy.

To serve:

Serve the chicken family-style on a large platter, together with the vegetables.