A seasoned whole chicken roasts on top of fennel, carrots, and onion for a winter-ready, impressive dish that's easier than it looks.
- 1 (4 to 6 pound) whole chicken
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 medium lemon, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Wash the chicken and pat dry. Poke it with a toothpick all over about 40 times. Season with salt and put in the refrigerator to chill for 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Combine melted butter and saffron in a small bowl. Pour over chicken to cover, and season with salt and pepper. Stuff chicken with lemon slices garlic. Tie the chicken legs with kitchen string and tuck legs underneath.
- Lay carrots, fennel, and onion at the bottom of a roasting pan and rest the chicken on top.
- Roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Spoon the juices from the chicken over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to roast until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil; let sit for 15 to 30 minutes before serving to allow the chicken to absorb all the juices.