A Simple Recipe for Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Posted · 7 Comments


If there’s one type of meat I care most about, it’s chicken.

I raise chickens in my backyard and over the past few years have come to truly appreciate them. Not just the chicken but any family farmer making a living raising them as God intended.

Time, energy and love goes into raising pastured chickens. Heritage breed chickens created to develop lean muscles and nourishing fat takes time to grow.

It takes a knowledgeable farmer to supplement them with more than just “conventional” grains. With the cost of feed going up every year, it takes more money and time to find a feed free of gmo and soy.

It takes energy and a keen eye to be aware of illness or parasites and to tend to it as quickly as possible.

It’s much more labor, however, the benefits far outweigh the work.

Besides the increased nutrients, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids, they are a joy to have and to learn from.

They are social and caring of one another constantly sticking to their flock. They do well in truly free range environments, choosing only to visit their coop to eat and sleep.

They bask in the sun.

I watch and tend to them everyday and for this reason I do not buy conventional chicken.

Chicken is one of the most over consumed meats on the market today.

Unfortunately, conventional chicken is one of the worst meats for our health. Conventional chicken feed contains arsenic, chemicals and other toxins that directly makes it’s way into their meat and especially their fat.

When you buy a whole chicken for $4, $5 or $6 you can be sure that the chicken was created by man, it’s wings and beak have been clipped, raised on pollutants and confined in a small dwelling area.

Really, is there any gain by eating a chicken like this?  Lean protein… sigh.

I understand the cost, so… I just decided I’ll be writing a post just on this topic next week 😉

For now, besides raising my own chickens, I have a wonderful source of pastured chicken that does cost me about $10-$12 for a whole bird.  We purposefully spread the meat over 2 meals and save the bones for stock.

The depth of flavor in a “real chicken” is worth every penny for the farmer and the life of a creature created specifically to nourish, heal and most importantly bring joy to the family table.

A Simple Recipe for Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

This is a very easy recipe that makes a delightful Sunday supper for the entire family.


  • 1 whole, free range, pastured chicken
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut in slices
  • 4 carrots, cut in slices
  • 2 parsnips, cut in slices
  • 3-4 turnips, cut in slices


1. Remove the gizzards, liver and heart (if included) from the cavity of the chicken.

inside cavity

2. Rinse the chicken and it’s cavity and cut the neck off if still attached. By all means, save the neck for a homemade chicken broth.


3. In a roasting pan, toss all of the root vegetables in extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.


4.  Place the roasted chicken on top of the vegetables and insert the lemon and garlic cloves into the cavity.  Feel free to add any herbs.  Drizzle the entire bird with extra virgin olive oil and rub in with your hands.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tie the legs and tuck the wings under the bird.


5.  Roast at 425F for 1.  After one hour, baste the chicken with the juices collected in the pan and continue to roast for an additional 30 minutes.  A total roasting time of 1 1/2 hours.

A very simple and truly healthy meal.

Buen Provecho!

So, do you have any comments or questions you’d like to ask on conventional versus pastured chicken?  I’d love to chat 😉


Posts of Interest:

Real Chicken

The Miracles of Broth


7 Responses to "A Simple Recipe for Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables"
  1. Yissell says:

    It’s been about two months since I switched to pasture raise chickens from the farmer’s market. A 4-5 pound chicken cost me about $18-$20 (head/feet included). It’s certainly more expensive than the organic/ air chilled version from the store I was purchasing before, but the flavor it’s worth every single penny. I do notice they are more lean and I have to be very careful when roasting, otherwise you’ll end up with very dry meat. To fix this I put bacon slices on top for the first hour, that helps to keep the meat moist and added flavor, I remove the bacon slices after and baste with juices for the remaining time. I like to stuck a mix of lemon and herbs inside the skin, and flavor it’s superb!
    Love your blog because your recipes brings me back home (Cuba) and I feel more related to them, other sites, although recipes might sound wonderful then the taste in the end its kinda plain :). I love to bring lots a flavors to family table. Also love your photos and detailed info, makes lots of sense with trying new cooking methods. Next I’ll sign up for your newsletter!

  2. It may be simple, but absolutely perfect. I agree that the benefits far outweigh – plus, the higher price means we eat less and appreciate more!

  3. This was a great post, and I couldn’t agree more about the need for more awareness about the chickens we buy and eat. I gladly pay more for humanely raised chicken, and as you say, paying more just means we will eat a little less, which is good for us anyway.

  4. Pastured/free range chicken was the first “real food” switch my husband and I made. We’ve been able to get them for as little as $8 from our CSA, but we usually end up picking one up for $12 and it’s worth every penny! I usually stretch the meat into four meals and then I make stock, so it isn’t really as expensive as it seems.

    I usually stuff the cavity with garlic and lemon and put the bird on top of some veggies, too. I love the flavor the chicken gives to the vegetables. Yum!

  5. Lana says:

    Every time I leave Serbia, I am sad to say goodbye to my chicken man. For a couple of years, my dad raised chickens, ducks, and turkeys and we were spoiled for the summer:)
    I have to find a source of real chickens now that we moved. Your family is very lucky:)

  6. I grew up with a mother that bought whole chickens, though she cut them up before cooking. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never cooked a whole chicken, and I bet a lot of people are like me and intimidated by the idea.

    I would love it if you would come and post this recipe on my new link party, Required Ingredient, since this week’s featured ingredient is chicken and I would love for people to see how to cook a whole chicken and read about the importance of free range chicken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *