Sunday Roasted Chicken

IMG_1282For my first food post I decided to highlight one of my favorite meals: roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. On this very chilly January evening, Alex and I enjoyed this most delicious meal, accompanied by roasted vegetables and a big glass of vino.

In creating the photographs and staging for this post I really gained a lot of respect for food bloggers. Food photography is extremely difficult on its own, but photographing a piece of food I’d like to eat while it’s hot is another thing. It took quite a bit of time, creativity and re-positioning to get a few halfway decent photos, so bear with me while I get the hang of it.

Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken – I used a 3 pound chicken
  • 1/4 cup onion, large chop
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted or room temperature
  • Salt – about 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 425.IMG_1276

Remove chicken from packaging, discard giblets/neck packet/loose innards. Rinse the chicken thoroughly then dry the skin with a paper towel. Spray a roasting pan {or deep casserole dish} with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the roasting pan, breast side up. Drop about 1/2 tablespoon of butter into the cavity of the chicken, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Insert the onion, celery, lemon and thyme sprig into the cavity of the chicken.

To prepare the skin of the chicken, slather on the remaining butter – I find it’s easier to use melted butter because it sticks to the chicken better, but you can use  room temperature butter just the same. Be sure to cover all exposed skin areas with butter, then sprinkle on approximately 2 teaspoons of salt. Give the chicken a very light sprinkle of garlic powder and onion powder, about 1/2 teaspoon each.

Now you need to tie up the chicken legs – using kitchen string, make a figure 8 around the legs to pull them up over the breast to protect it from cooking too fast and drying out. Snip off any excess string. I like to make a very small aluminum tent over the tip of the wings to prevent them from burning. Just grab a very small piece of foil and fold it over the tips of the wings.

I find it extremely easy and accurate to use a digital probe thermometer as a way to know when my chicken is ready to come out of the oven. The probe thermometer gets stuck into the bird and then stays there for the duration that the chicken is in the oven – it’s attached to a digital thermometer which stays outside the oven and beeps when the chicken is ready to come out. I set my thermometer to 158 degrees, place the chicken into the oven and remove it promptly when it does reach 158, which will be around an hour if you have a 3 pound chicken. As the chicken cooks, be sure to check on it a couple times and drizzle the pan drippings on the chicken to keep it moist. Let the chicken sit on a cutting board for about 15 minutes before carving to let the juices re-distribute and give you enough time to make mashed potatoes and gravy.

Roasted Vegetables

IMG_1278I typically make roasted vegetables at least once a week using whatever veggies I’ve got on hand. I don’t have a “go-to” recipe or vegetable combination; for this meal, I used carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. Chop the desired veggies into relatively similar sizes to allow for even cooking, then place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle on 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle some salt and toss to coat the vegetables in oil.

Cook the veggies in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (some thick/tough veggies, like potatoes, may take longer, and thin veggies, like asparagus, may cook quicker, so peek in the oven every now and then!). Watch for the veggies to get brown around the edges and be fork-tender, then remove and serve promptly.


I feel like gravy is an intimidating thing to make from scratch, but quite honestly, it’s one of the easiest things I can think of to make.


  • Pan drippings from chicken (or you can use butter)
  • Flour
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt


In a saucepan or the roasting pan you cooked your chicken in (be sure it’s safe to use on the stove), heat the pan drippings from the chicken over medium-low and add the flour. Use equal parts pan drippings and flour – I’d suggest 2 tablespoons each. Whisk these together for a minute or two to make a roux. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Start with 1 cup and whisk in more to thin out the gravy as necessary. For 2 tablespoons of flour/drippings, you should need 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to yield a good gravy consistency. Let the gravy simmer on low while you finish the rest of the dinner. Taste it and add salt if/as necessary to enhance the flavor of the gravy.


Mashed Potatoes

My mashed potato recipe is so good that I just can’t share it. Maybe another time after I figure out the ratios… It’s a bit unorthodox the amount of butter I use…