Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.

Cheap, easy and good. It's the ultimate goal of any weeknight meal.

Which is why a one-pot dinner of roasted chicken and veggies is an obvious winner. Whole chickens are nearly always less expensive than the bits and pieces. And as long as you have a large Dutch oven, you can dump everything together and walk away while it cooks.

In this recipe, a whole chicken is briefly browned with butter and fresh herbs in a large pot. Some root vegetables - in this case, carrots and new potatoes, but any can be substituted - and garlic are tossed in, then the whole things goes into the oven while you go do something else.

That's as hard as it gets. A little over an hour later, you've got dinner. And to jazz it up, you can make an easy pan sauce. Just remove the chicken from the pot, place the pot over medium-high heat, and cook until the juices are reduced.

If you wanted to save some time, you could skip the browning step. But it does help produce a more flavorful sauce and speeds cooking.

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH<0x000A>ROOT VEGETABLES AND GARLIC

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3- to 4-pound whole chicken

3 tablespoons butter

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs (each about 4 inches long) fresh rosemary

1 yellow onion, quartered

12-ounce bag baby carrots

1 pound new potatoes

1 lemon, quartered

6 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole

Ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 300 F.

Combine the salt and garlic powder, then rub the mixture over and under the skin of the chicken. Set aside.

In a 5 1/2-quart (or larger) Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the thyme and rosemary. Heat for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken, breast down, and brown for 4 minutes. Use tongs to carefully turn the chicken, and brown on the bottom for 6 minutes.

Arrange the onion, carrots, potatoes, lemon and garlic cloves around the chicken, then place the lid over the pot. Transfer to the oven, and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the breast reads 160 F on an instant thermometer.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, and tent with foil. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Cover to keep warm. Discard the lemons and any herb stems from the pot.

Place the pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled over the chicken and vegetables.

Makes four servings.

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