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Roast Chicken and Vegetables

3 carrots, cut into thirds and halved

1 small butternut squash, peeled seeded and cubed

1 small sweet onion, cut into 6 wedges

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 free-range chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds)

1 lemon, quartered

3 fresh rosemary sprigs

3 fresh sage sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Instructions:

Preheat oven the 425 degrees.

Put the carrots, butternut squash, and onion in a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In the center of a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish place 3 smashed garlic cloves.  Set aside.

Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard.  Rinse the bird under cold water and pat dry.  Place the chicken breast side up, in the center of the 9 x 13-inch baking dish on top of the garlic.  By placing the garlic under the chicken it will prevent it from burning.  Brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper to taste.  Place 2 lemon quarters, 2 rosemary sprigs, sage, thyme, and 1 garlic clove inside the cavity of the skin.  Then spread the vegetables around the chicken to the edges of the baking dish.

Roast chicken and vegetables for 45 minutes. 

Optional: While the chicken is roasting in a small dish stir together 1 tablespoon honey, 1 sprig rosemary chopped, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder.  This can be used to brush on the chicken after the first 45 minutes of roasting.

Remove the dish from the oven.  Using tongs, tilt the chicken, pouring the juices onto the vegetables, and shake to coat.  Baste the chicken with the pan juices and brush the chicken with honey rosemary mixture if using.  If the bird is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  Continue roasting until the chicken is deep golden brown and the juices run clear when the tip of a knife is inserted into the thigh joint, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh, away from the bone, reads 170 to 175 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. 

Toss the juices with the vegetables.  You can eat the vegetables alongside the carved chicken or you can place everything in a food processor (even pan juices) and puree to make an amazing mash.  Sprinkle in some cinnamon and nutmeg for an extra touch to the puree. 

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