Firehouse Chef Ryan McKay shares his recipe for rustic-style Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables.
Whole Chicken (5-6 pounds)
Salt (1 Tbsp.)
Pepper (1 tsp.)
Baking Powder (1 tsp.)
Sweet Potatoes (2 diced)
Onion (1 sliced into large chunks)
Garlic (8-10 cloves)
Baking Sheet or Cart Iron Skillet (10”)
Thermometer (Remote or Instant Read)
Large Cutting Board
To make the seasoning, place the salt, pepper and baking powder into a small bowl, mix to combine and reserve.
Place chicken breast side down on a large cutting board. Working from the tail up and using kitchen shears, cut the spine out on one side ensuring to stay as close to the spine as possible. Turn chicken around and repeat on the other side and remove spine (save for making a stock at another date). Either use kitchen shears to snip directly behind the breasts to make an incision (1’ long) or flip over chicken and apply soft pressure on the breasts until breastbone snaps to flatten. Carefully use your hands or a dull utensil to separate skin from muscle. Place the seasoning under and on top of the skin of the chicken ensuring to get it everywhere. Place on baking sheet with inserted rack in a fridge uncovered for a few hours or ideally overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 500°F and remove from the fridge. Place the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic a single layer on the bottom of the cast iron, season with salt and pepper then lay the chicken on top. Place the cast iron skillet in the middle rack in center of oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to 450°F and continue to cook until breast meat reaches 155-160°F and thigh meat reached 165-170°F, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. Carve into sections and serve over a portion of the roasted root vegetables.