Triple Play: 3-in-1 Roast Chicken
Here’s a dish that will resolve that pesky question about what to make for dinner forever. It’s classy, versatile, and if you’re not feeding 3 hungry teenagers (or roommates), you just might have enough leftovers for lunch to make your co-workers jealous. Oh, and did we mention it’s simple? The best food always is. That’s what we call a triple play: Make a main and two sides at the same time. This roasted chicken is made with prosciutto and sage stuffed under the skin. It’s roasted on a bed of root vegetables, and we make a vinaigrette for a salad with the drippings to round out the meal. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to hear the praise.
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Active Prep: 15 minutes
For the roast chicken and veg
- One 3 1/2-pound whole chicken
- 2 thin slices prosciutto, halved
- 4 to 6 sage leaves
- 12 baby potatoes in assorted colors, about 2 inches around (about 10 ounces), halved
- 5 to 7 unpeeled cloves garlic
- 2 medium carrots (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 small celery root (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (or substitute celery)
- 1 small red onion (about 6 ounces), peeled and cut into 8 wedges with root intact
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving
- As much freshly ground black pepper as you like
For the salad
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, (if needed)
- 5 cups torn sturdy leafy greens, such as escarole or romaine (about 8 ounces/half a bunch)
- Parmigiano, for shaving (optional)
for the roast chicken and veg
Have an oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 450 degrees. Put the chicken on a cutting board. Loosen the skin over the breasts with your finger. Wiggle 2 prosciutto halves on top of each breast so the meat is flat and covers most of the breasts.
Slide the sage leaves over the prosciutto, keeping them flat as well. You may need to use toothpicks to secure the skin and keep the breasts covered. Tuck the wings under the back. Scatter the veg on a rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Toss to coat, and spread back out, making sure the flat sides of the potatoes are touching the pan.
Place the bird on top of the veg and rub it with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and more pepper.
Roast until the skin is nice and brown, about 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 degrees and continue roasting until the chicken is brown all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 to 165 degrees, about 35 more minutes.
Scoop the veg into a bowl and cover to keep warm. Pick out 1 or 2 of the roasted garlic cloves and set aside. Tip the chicken over the pan to drain the cavity of any cooking liquids. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and loosely cover to keep warm. Pour the pan drippings into a gravy separator, if you’ve got one. If you don’t, don’t worry about it, deliciousness is still in your future.
for the salad
Squeeze 1 or 2 of the reserved roasted garlic from cloves into a large bowl. Whisk in the vinegar. Pour the chicken drippings into a small bowl, then drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the fat from the drippings into the vinegar. Add the oil, if needed, and whisk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chicken drippings. Add in the salad greens and toss to coat with the vinaigrette. And add Parmigiano shavings, if using.
Carve the chicken, sprinkle the slices with a little salt, and serve with the salad and the roasted vegetables.
Try to get carrots and parsnips that are about the same thickness from top to bottom. If the tops are much thicker, you’ll need to halve them and then cut into chunks. Celery root can be found in most well-stocked grocers in the fall and winter months. If you can’t find it, substitute any good looking root vegetable you can find, or just use celery or fennel. It will still be delicious.