Herby Chicken with Tomatoes and Cauliflower

Delicious, everyday eats. Protein + Good Fat + Vegetables. Dinner + Leftovers.

Herby Chicken with Tomatoes and Cauliflower
Loosely adapted from Thierry Breton of Chez Michel via LA Times

1 roasting chicken, about 4-5 pounds
6 Tbs butter, softened
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, peeled and thickly sliced
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried ground mustard seed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make sure the racks are centered in the oven. Clean the chicken inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Let stand for 20 minutes. Mix together the herbs, salt, and pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture and set aside. Add the remaining herb mixture to the softened butter and blend together very well. Smear the herby butter under the skin and on the outside of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place the chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan, and cook until the skin begins to crisp, about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the vegetables. Combine the cauliflower, tomato, garlic, onion, and 1 Tbs reserved herb mixture in a large bowl. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.

After the 20 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and use a turkey baster to remove the drippings accumulated in the pan, while leaving the chicken in the pan. Drizzle the drippings over the cauliflower and tomatoes. Put the chicken back in the oven and the pan of cauliflower and tomatoes on the rack below the chicken.

Cook for 30 minutes. Take the chicken out and flip it over very carefully to breast side up. Use the turkey baster to remove about 2 more tablespoons of drippings. Put the chicken back in the oven. Remove the pan of cauliflower and tomatoes, drizzle them with the reserved 2 Tbs of drippings, and stir well. Put the pan back in the oven and cook for another 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and let stand 10 minutes. Surround the chicken with vegetables, spoon some of the cooking juices all over, and serve immediately.

After dinner, I let the chicken cool a bit longer, then removed all the meat from the bones. I put all the remaining drippings, skin, and bones into the slow cooker, filled the whole thing up with water, and added 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to help bring out the gelatin from the bones. I left the slow cooker on low to cook all night and will strain the broth in the morning before discarding the chicken bits and storing the broth in jars for soup later this weekend.

I shredded the leftover chicken, mixed it with the remaining cauliflower and tomatoes, and stored it in the fridge for what will be some yummy lunches the couple days. The jar on the left in the picture below is a special mix of the chicken and veg layered with mashed sweet potato for the perfect post workout meal I’m saving for after my half marathon coming up in only three days. Yikes! I’m so nervous! At least I’ll be well fueled, before and after.


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