The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.
The reason for this recipe is sort of round-about. Sara likes to make chicken stock, but it’s kind of a pain. In order to maximize the efficiency of this activity, it helps to have a recipe involving TWO ENTIRE CHICKENS, so you can do all the chicken stock in one go. So yeah, the big plus of this recipe is that it outputs two chicken corpses.
Okay, all that being said, stumbling upon this recipe was sort of a happy accident, because the chickens really are good. The first time we made this, we didn’t quite have enough potatoes, so Sara added some carrots. This ended up being another happy accident, and we’ve made it that way ever since.
Sara and I both agreed that the chicken sometimes looks like a dead baby, especially when you lift it by the legs. If that wasn’t enough, the goopy red rub makes you look like you just murdered said baby. Said tasty, tasty baby.
Honestly, I’m not really a fan of whole
babies chickens, but the carrots and potatoes are TO. DIE. FOR. And of all the whole chicken recipes I have ever had, this one is the best.
But seriously, the carrots and potatoes.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
[Edited to include Sara’s modifications to the original recipe]
- 8 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 3 1/2–4-pound whole chickens
- 2-3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- ~3 medium carrots, cut in similar size to potatoes
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Smoked paprika (for dusting)
- Mix garlic, salt, oil, and paprika, cayenne, and thyme in a small bowl; mix to blend well. Using your hands, smear paste all over outside of chickens, rubbing to coat the skin. It will be clumpy, don’t worry.
- Let chickens stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then lengthwise into 4 thick wedges (steak-fry style). Place in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil and toss well to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer in a large roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Place chickens side by side atop potatoes in roasting pan.
- Roast chickens and potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; turn potatoes, rearranging chickens if needed. Reduce oven heat to 425°F. Continue roasting chickens and potatoes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thighs registers 165° F, 20-35 minutes longer. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving chicken. Keep potatoes warm in oven until chicken is carved and ready to be served.
- Transfer potatoes to 1–2 platters. Arrange chickens on top of potatoes. Dust lightly with smoked paprika.