Most roasted chicken recipes espouse allowing as much hot air to circulate around the bird as possible, which promotes a deeply browned bird with crackling-crisp skin. While the result might be a feast for the eyes, it’s usually not that fun to eat, as all of that hot air has dried out the meat inside.

A Dutch oven, however, can alleviate this problem and still deliver a photo-worthy roast chicken. Our method calls for setting the bird atop a layer of vegetables and starting the chicken breast-side down, which steams the meat and helps it stay juicy. As the chicken roasts, it bastes the vegetables below with its fat and juices, which gives you some of the best roasted vegetables you’ll ever taste.

Field Notes:

1.

If you have time, we always recommend dry-brining your chicken ahead of time. Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt (about 1 teaspoon salt per pound) all over and inside of the bird, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours, before cooking.

2.

Pretty much any roast-able vegetable can be added to the Dutch oven, so long as it will cook in about the same amount of time as the meat. We like to double up on the amount of vegetables and save the leftovers for later.

recipe

Dutch Oven-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Photo: Lauren V. Allen

Ingredients

12 ounces small potatoes, halved
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 2½ to 3-pound whole chicken
1 bunch mixed herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley)
½ lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions

1.

Preheat the oven to 450°F and set a rack in the middle position. In a No.8 Dutch oven, combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir to coat. Season with salt.

2.

Rub the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side down, and roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip the chicken and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, 35 to 45 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest before serving.

3.

While the chicken rests, check the vegetables: If they aren’t completely tender, return the pot to the oven and roast until they’re finished. Scatter the vegetables on a serving platter.

4.

Carve the chicken into 8 pieces and arrange over the vegetables. Squeeze the lemon over the top, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.