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Do you ever have days where everything you do seems to not go according to plan?  Today has been that kind of day for me.  I woke up feeling pretty good.  The sun was shining and there was a nice chill in the air.  I decided to take my dogs on a long walk in the beautiful sunshine and one of my crazy poodles got off his leash and decided to chase a squirrel deep into the woods.  An hour and a half later, I found him and brought hime back home.  He was one worn out, but happy and satisfied-with-himself puppy.  However, I was an hour and a half off my schedule and have been playing catch up ever since.

I know I need to slow down, do my yoga breathing and chill…but still…really?

So, you know what I did?  I did exactly what I knew would remove my stress.  No, I didn’t open a bottle of Chardonnay, that’ll be for later…

I cooked.

There’s a recipe I have for a perfectly roasted chicken which is just that…perfectly roasted.  I can’t mess up this recipe, I really can’t.  Every time I roast a chicken this way, it turns out so very tender and juicy.  This chicken has a way of bringing my off kilter day back on track.  Plus, there’s really nothing quite like the wonderful smell of chicken slowly roasting in the oven.  It makes the world alright again.

Don’t be intimidated by roasting a chicken.  It’s extremely easy and you’ll be asking yourself why you might not have ever roasted a chicken before now.

I begin with a nice 4-5 pound chicken and remove the giblets.  After rinsing the chicken well, I proceed to stuff it with a sliced lemon and slices of oranges plus lots and lots of garlic.  Then, I place the chicken right on top of sliced vegetables, drizzle everything with melted butter and olive oil and of course, salt and pepper.  I let it bake for a little over an hour and voila…the tastiest, juiciest roasted chicken you’ve ever had.   Plus, an added bonus is that I’ve already got my “sides” which come from the roasted vegetables.

 I usually roast two chickens at a time.  That way, we use one chicken for dinner one night and we have the meat from the other chicken to use in different recipes throughout the week.

Roasted Chicken (Recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Roasted chicken is one of the easiest meals to make and shouldn't be reserved for a special occasion or for the weekend.


  • 4-5 pound roasting chicken
  • kosher salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • teaspoon several sprigs of fresh thyme , or 1 dried thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic , cut in half
  • 1 in lemon , sliced in half
  • 1 in small orange , sliced fourths
  • 1 in large yellow onion , cut fourths
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 5-6 in red potatoes , cut fourths
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 stick of butter , melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out.
  • Place 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the thyme inside the cavity of the chicken.
  • Add the garlic, lemon and oranges to the inside of the chicken and place on a large plate.
  • Scatter the vegetables around the bottom of the roasting pan. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and drizzle the butter over the top of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper over the chicken.
  • Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when cut.
  • Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes.
  • Slice the chicken onto a serving platter and serve with the vegetables.
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Hi, I’m Joanie and welcome to ZagLeft where we share favorite recipes as well as exciting travel experiences that we’ve enjoyed while always trying to take the road less traveled.

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