ina's perfect roast chicken...

I make a LOT of chicken. It's cheap and can be used in almost any recipe no matter the ethnic origins of the dish. Since I use it as the main ingredient in so many different casseroles, I usually bake two at a time. This will make three meals for my family of four. One with the baked chicken and two casseroles using the remainder. Ina's Perfect Roast Chicken is the best recipe I have found for the task.
The chicken is moist with a hint of lemon and garlic. The gravy is absolutely divine and screams for some wonderful mashed potatoes. Once again, the Barefoot Contessa proves that simple can be so tasty!
Check back tomorrow for the other two recipe's made from this yummy chicken. You won't be disappointed.
Bon Appetite!
Perfect Roast Chicken
recipe by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.