Friday, October 3, 2014

60 Minute, Easy Peasy Roast Chicken and Veggies Recipe

Ok, what's so great about chicken?  Well, what isn't great about chicken?!  If you made and subsequently ate the chicken in this recipe, you wouldn't even be asking me that question! A huge bonus with this meal is it is allergen free, meaning even with all of our food allergies, this one is totally safe!  No dairy, peanut, egg, nut and as much as my children would like to say, they are not allergic to veggies!  This is a great, safe meal to make and give!

Delicious meal!
I know, it's a bold statement, easy, peasy roast chicken and veggies, but it is so much more than that! This recipe is my go to, for comfort food or for comforting others...  It looks like a million bucks and couldn't be easier!  Plus, with just a little bit of prep work, you can have an awesome, healthy dinner without washing a ton of dishes or spending your dinner prep time standing watching for every little thing at your cooktop...  So in other words, you can play outside with your kids, get them bathed, do homework, cash in on some quality time with the kiddo's or even your husband/significant other and even still have an awesome dinner!

Ok, now, I know I called this 60 minutes, but that's basically dump and cook, it doesn't count for prep time, so 72 minute roasted chicken and veggies didn't quite have the ring of 60 minute roasted chicken and veggies, so I apologize right now for that liberty.  Once you make this recipe and eat it up, you will thank me and wonder why someone would be hating for that extra 12 minutes?  I like to prep my veggies once a week and use them for the rest of the week, you know, wash, peel if necessary and chop and bag separately all at once.  I mean, not fun at all for that time, but you are ready to dump your veggies into the steamer or pan for roasting when dinner time rolls around.  It's so convenient!

This recipe is easily doubled, meaning you can totally cook double the amounts without adding any cooking time!  Say what!?  No, really...  I have doubled this recipe several times and don't add a minute of cooking time and it still comes out picture perfect!  Meaning the chicken is perfectly moist, flavorful and if you are in to eating crispy, seasoned chicken skin that crunches when you bite it, you know, if that's your thing, this is memorable!  Now, if you don't believe me, you are welcome to use a meat thermometer to check for done-ness, which I would do the first time you make this in your oven, go ahead...  I have made this recipe so many times, I don't even worry about that anymore because I know my oven and what my chicken should look like...

Now, you don't have to double this, but...  You've got the oven on, you're cooking anyway, why not?  Leftovers for this dinner are moist as can be and it holds well...  If you keep everything on the bone, the meat is juicy and moist, if you take the meat off the bone, you can chop it up and freeze it for later...  Then you can have a quick dinner with the thawed chicken on top of a salad, or pasta like here, or chicken salad sandwiches like here...

Anywho, run to the store and pick up a good 4 to 5 pound chicken of your choosing (free range, home fed, regular, whatever) some fresh veggies (carrots, squash, brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, potatoes) and use one or two pans in your oven and let 'er go!

One last thing, this is cooking, not baking...  That being said, there are no measurements for any of this...  What?!  Blasphemy?!  Come on, this is chicken and veggies...  It's totally customize-able to what you have on hand or your family's tastes.  I will give you pointers, though, on when you should season with what types of seasonings, so go for it!  Well, if we are really telling the truth, I have cooked it even longer because I was giving the kids a bath or playing outside and didn't hear or notice the timer...  So, an extra 15 minutes didn't hurt anyone or this chicken, so relax, enjoy and eat up! You won't be sorry!

Oh, another last thing, you can use already prepped carrots like baby carrots, but you will need to adjust when you add them to the pans...  Because the baby carrots are so tiny, you will either have shriveled up carrots (not tasty) or burned carrots, I mean, that oven is HOT...  If you insist on using baby carrots, you will need to add them at thirty minutes of the chicken cooking time, then proceed as normal (meaning 15 to 20 minutes after adding baby carrots, you could add onions and cherry tomatoes.)


1 or 2 Whole Chickens (4 to 5 pound range)
Spray Cooking Oil (canola, vegetable, whatever you have)
Root Veggies (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch blocks, see pic below) 
Squash (cut into 1 inch blocks)
Cherry tomatoes (cleaned) - Save for last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking
Onions (Cut into quarters, do not separate layers) - Save for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking
Spices (Salt, Ground Pepper, Dried Rosemary, Dried Italian Seasoning - Basil, Oregano)

Liberally Salt and Pepper the Bird
Cut it up, if you want!

1. Ok, first decide am I cooking for my family only or giving half away?  The reason why this is important is that if you are cooking double just for your family then, you would put both chickens in one pan and the veggies in another...  If you are cooking and only keeping half, then put a chicken and veggies in one pan and another chicken and veggies in the the other...  If you are cooking for yourself go to step 3, if you are going halvsies (i.e., giving half away) then proceed to step 2...
2. Prep two 13 by 9 pans with foil and spray with cooking spray.
3. Prep one 13 by 9 pan (chicken pan) and one jelly roll pan (I think it's like 11 by 15 with a rim for the veggies) with foil and spray with oil.
4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
5. Remove your chickens from the bags, make sure to remove any 'insides' (no one wants a comforting meal only to find a bag of parts in the inside of the chicken!) and place the chicken breast side up in the appropriate pan.  Now place the wings behind the bird like he's going to do a 'crunch.'
6. Now some of you may want to 'wash' the chicken, if you feel that is necessary do it before you place it in the pan and dry it off...  I have read that 'washing' the chicken introduces bacteria and can cause food poisoning, so do what you feel comfy with...  I will wait for you to catch up.
7. Place your prepped root veggies and squash in the appropriate pan.  If you are cooking the veggies and chicken in the same pan, season the veggies now with dried rosemary.  If you are cooking them in separate pans, spray the veggies with more cooking spray and then season them with dried rosemary.  I use 7 good size carrots and one big squash for each pan or double if putting in one pan.
8. Season the chicken liberally with salt (I use Kosher) and ground pepper.  I use at least half a tablespoon of salt on the outside and in the cavity.  Remember this is chicken, it's pretty bland otherwise...  Also, all you taste is deliciousness with the chicken when you remove the skin.  Furthermore, if you are into crispy, tasty chicken skin, then this is a-mazing and flavorful, you know, if that's your thing...  You aren't eating this every day, chill out.  If you hold back on the seasonings, do not complain to me that it didn't taste good.  Just saying...
9. Now check out your oven racks and get your oven mitts.  If you have one pan for the chickens, then put them in the top third of your oven and place your veggies in the bottom third of the oven.  You won't need a lot of space for the veggies, so make sure the chickens are not too close to the top heating element. If you are cooking the chickens in separate pans, then make sure both fit in your oven at the same time; however that works. The bottom chicken will not brown like the top chicken, don't worry, we will fix that at the end!
10.  Turn on the timer and don't come back for 45 or 50 minutes...  Well, that's what I do...  For your first time, hang around to see if your oven runs hot or not.... You don't want burned chicken, so put foil over the chickens if they are getting too brown.  In my oven, the chickens get nice and golden, brown, so crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
11. At 45 or 50 minutes, open the oven and stir your veggies, then drop your cherry tomatoes and onion chunks on top of the veggies.  Set the timer for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on when you checked the chicken/veggies).  The veggies in the chicken pan will baste with the chicken juices, which makes them so delicious!  Sometimes I just bake it this way because the veggies taste so good when cooked with the chicken!
12. When your 60 minutes is up, take out your pan of veggies and stir.  Season with Dried Italian Seasoning.
13. If the chicken is all in one pan, grab your meat thermometer and check to see if you have hit the 'right' temp and take out to cool.  If not, take the top pan with the chicken and place on a trivet on the counter and take it's temp.  Put the bottom chicken pan on the top rack, with the door closed while you are taking his friends temp.  This will give the bottom chicken time to brown on the skin...  It's hot in there, so it won't take too long.  Sometimes, I will leave the second chicken on the top rack for a good 15 minutes (while I am giving the kids a bath or play a quick game of kickball outside.)

Voila, you have a delicious dinner for tonight or you can share with another family... Clean up is a cinch!  Just crumple up the foil and throw it out, wash up your pan, super easy!  No hard scrubbing and at most, you have two easy pans!!

I recently made this meal for a friend and her family and was called a rockstar!!  I have never been called a rockstar for cooking a meal, but it feels great when you do!!  You can be a rockstar, too, when you show up with a meal like this! What do you have as a go-to dinner that you make?

Take care,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Aggie Family Portrait

This first appeared on the Deals show, but I wanted to include the tute on my blog...  My husband is super cautious and doesn't like for us to have anything on our cars about our kids, sports, schools, etc.  So, I wanted to make some easy art which would have these popular collegiate stick families you see on everyone's cars, but make it nice enough to hang on our wall.

I channeled my best Bob Ross and am quite pleased with the results!!  In the early mornings, when the kids wake up before 6 AM during the school year, we can actually catch some episodes of the Happy, little tree guy on our local PBS station!!  My kids love him, but I digress...  This was super easy, though I had a little challenge, which if you watched the show I didn't have my husband's sticker on the art project.  The show we taped is here...

Alas, my husband did not graduate from my alma mater.  He didn't even attend the school, so I didn't think it was fair to put his sticker on the art project as an Aggie, even for the show.  So, I had to sub the Aggie Dad and paint my husband's school initials on the project in his school colors, which took four coats of pain pen to color his jersey yellow.  Be patient, it will cover with several light layers.

I have included a tute, but I think it's pretty self-explanatory...  If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a note!  :)


Trim (optional)
Hanger (optional)
Collegiate Stickers (Found mine on clearance!)
Paint Pens
Wood glue
Rubber bands/clamps
Homemade Stain


  1. Cut down your wood and sand down the edges.  You may also have your home improvement store do the cutting for you.  Mine is 12 inches, square.
  2. Use your sponges to paint out the background scene you want for your sticker family...  Be easy on yourself, it's meant to be cartoon-y.
  3. You can either use your stickers and create your family picture or use the paint pens to draw your family in. 
  4. Paint your trim with the homemade stain...  I did five coats (you can tell the original color of the wood, next to the stained one) and didn't bother letting it dry in between coats...  I like how forgiving the vinegar solution is.
  5. Glue your trim around the picture and secure with rubber bands/clamps.  I let mine dry for 24 hours, just in case.
  6. Place the hangar on the back.
  7. Admire your unique, wall art in the days, weeks, months to come!
How do you like to decorate on the cheap?

Take care, 

See the second strip in natural with the other strips in 5 coats
Wood square
Cheapest art supplies ever!
Very complex drying clamps (rubber bands!)
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