Roast Chicken with Fennel and Squash
Old Man Winter showed up for the year with a huge storm on Saturday. The fresh snow blanketed everything and transformed the landscape into a winter wonderful. The first snowfall is always fun and everyone gets a little excited just watching the snow come down. It came down fast and furious and we had 8 inches of wet, heavy snow in a matter of hours.
By mid morning lots of activities can be heard outside. Though the snow was still coming down people were up and about. There were the happy laughter of children as they roll and sled in the snow and the sounds of shoveling and snow throwers as the adults fought to clear their driveways. Ro-Ri San and the boys were out doing the same. Good thing he had prepared the snow thrower in anticipation of the storm. The boys helped with shoveling of the porch and places the snow thrower could not get to. There are more pictures on my Facebook Fan Page. Please do “Fan” me while you are there.
Today’s recipe is a family favorite which I made to go with the Butternut Squash Fettuccini of my previous post. Roast chicken combines really well with fennel. Fennel tastes a little like licorice and has a texture like celery when raw. It mellows and sweetens when roasted. I added a fall favorite, the sweet dumpling squash to the dish…oops…err…it was still fall when I made this! Sweet dumpling squashes are smaller in size and quite sweet as the name suggests. The texture is fine and smooth. Do give them a try as they are delicious.
The fresh thyme is the final harvest from my herb garden. I used lime as that was what I had in the fridge.
- 1 (3 to 4 lbs/ 1.4 to 1.8 kg) roasting chicken
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 to 30 sprigs
- 1 lemon or lime, halved
- 1 bulb fennel, top removed and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
- 2 sweet dumpling squash, seeds removed and cut into 8 wedges
- 1 bulb garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Remove giblets and excessive fat from chicken. Rinse chicken including the inside. Pat dry the outside and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes so that the skin is dry. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside and outside of the chicken.
Stuff thyme (saving a few sprigs for the vegetables) and lemon or lime in the cavity and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place chicken on a pan and tug wings under the body.
Place sliced fennel bulb, squash wedges, garlic, and remaining sprigs of thyme around chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over vegetables.
Roast for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone registers 180°F (82°C).
Allow the roasted chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!