One of the things I love about this chicken recipe is that you can start the process a day in advance by making the rub and applying it to the chicken to start to build the flavors. The next day, you’ve cut your work in half! Just pull it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to temperature, and you'll be ready to roast it in the 450 degree oven.
To make my life even easier, I like to wash and peel any vegetables the day before as well. You can even boil the potatoes a day ahead for this recipe and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast them – like the chicken, just bring them up to room temperature first!
I use ghee in this recipe because it has a high burn point and it gives the chicken and vegetables another layer of nutty flavor. I also leave the chicken on the bone and cut it into two large pieces, because I feel it keeps it moister and more flavorful.
Roasted Sheet Pan Chicken with Smashed Potatoes, Rainbow Carrots & Garlic
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 1 4-pound chicken
- 3-4 tablespoons ghee, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves, smashed, skin removed, and smashed again to continue to smash and break apart the garlic
- A couple of pinches Himalayan salt
- A squeeze of lemon (you can use lime or grapefruit as well)
- Flaky sea salt (like Maldon salt flakes)
- 1 1/2 pounds small or medium red, white, and purple potatoes
- 2 red onions, quartered
- 7-10 small or medium yellow carrots, washed and tops and tails trimmed
- 7-10 small or medium orange carrots, washed and tops and tails trimmed
- 7-10 small or medium red carrots, washed and tops and tails trimmed
- 3-4 tablespoons ghee
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 2 heads garlic, ¼ of top and papery skin removed
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 6 rosemary sprigs
- 6 bay leaves
Garnishing Herbs (chop just before serving)
- ½ bunch parsley
- ½ bunch cilantro
- Flaky sea salt
At least 30 minutes ahead of time, remove the chicken from the fridge. (It’s easier to work with the ghee rub when the bird is at room temperature).
Using strong kitchen shears, cut down the back of the chicken on either side of the backbone, and remove it. Set aside until ready to use (you will use it with the sheet pan vegetables).
Flip the chicken over and cut down the middle of the breast bone. You’ll now have two chicken halves. Set aside.
In a mortar and pestle, combine the smashed garlic, a couple of pinches of Himalayan salt, and a squeeze of lemon. Add ½ teaspoon of the thyme and a ½ teaspoon of the rosemary. Using the pestle, start to stir the garlic herb mixture clockwise. Switch to counterclockwise to continue to smash the garlic and herbs until you have a paste and the garlic is fully pulverized.
Add the garlic paste to a bowl with the ghee and the remaining herbs. Using a fork, smash everything together until completely combined.
Using a butter knife, gently loosen the skin of the chicken around the breast so you can slide your fingers beneath it. Apply the garlic rub evenly to the flesh. (If the ghee, herb mixture doesn’t spread easily, just place dots of the mixture around the breast in between the skin.)
Moving to the leg, if there isn’t an easy spot to slide the butter knife underneath the skin, take a sharp knife and gently cut a couple of slits into skin (without cutting into the flesh) to loosen the skin. This will allow you to insert a butter knife and gently loosen the skin. Apply the ghee, herb mixture to the leg flesh as well. (Don't worry about seasoning beneath the skin of the wings.)
Next rub or dot the skin with the ghee herb mixture all over the exterior of the breast, legs, and wings. (Remember it will melt and cover most of it, so no need to go for perfection). Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Place on a small sheet pan, uncovered in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight. This will help help dry out the skin, which will make it crisper in the oven.
When you are ready to roast the chicken and vegetables, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and place two sheet pans in the oven to preheat them for at least 5-7 minutes. (If you’ve marinated your chicken ahead of time, and it’s in the refrigerator, remove it from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature for 30 minutes.)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. Drain potatoes immediately.
Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a small saucepan. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with several spoonfuls of the ghee. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and pepper.
Remove one sheet pan from the oven, taking care not to burn yourself. Pour the potatoes onto the sheet pan (you should hear them sizzle). Using a potato masher, gently smash the potatoes until the skin separates and flesh comes through. Drizzle the potatoes with a bit more of the ghee.
Using kitchen tongs, make room for the chicken halves amongst the potatoes, ensuring they lie on the surface of the sheet pan, and not the potatoes.
Next, pull out the second sheet pan out of the oven and place the carrots and red onions on the warm sheet pan. Place one garlic head in one corner of each sheet pan. Drizzle the vegetables and garlic with the ghee, and season generously with salt and pepper. Using your tongs, gently toss the vegetables in the butter, ensuring full coverage.
Place three sprigs of thyme and rosemary on top of the potatoes and the vegetables. Gently bruise the bay leaves with your hands to release the oils, and nestle them between the vegetables on each pan.
Immediately place the sheet pans in the oven in the middle and bottom rack of the oven. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes. At the halfway mark, check and rotate the pans to ensure even cooking, removing or turning vegetables as needed. If any are beginning to burn, remove to a serving bowl or plate, and tent it to keep warm.
Check the temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165, remove the chicken from the oven. If the skin is not brown, crank up the temperature of the oven to 500 degrees, place on the top rack, and roast for another 2-4 minutes until brown.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for five minutes. While you wait, roughly chop the Italian parsley and cilantro, just to release the essential oils of the herbs.
Transfer all of the vegetables, including the garlic heads, to a serving platter, removing the thyme, rosemary sprigs and bay leaves. Once you’ve transferred the potatoes to the serving plate, toss with the Italian parsley, cilantro and Maldon sea salt flakes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
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