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Whole Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Fennel, and Apple

- Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Marianne Williams; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Marianne Williams; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

For an easy, autumnal dinner, this whole roasted chicken is the way to go. Perched on a bed of root veggies, fennel, apples, and mushrooms, this chicken becomes irresistibly crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. Apples and mushrooms absorb the savory chicken fat and slowly break down throughout the slow-roasting process, making them almost melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The sheet pan will be crowded upon assembly, but don't fret, roasting will shrink the veggie and apple mixture's size.

Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yields: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes

2 large apples (such as Honeycrisp), cored and chopped

1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 (5-lb.) whole chicken

1 lemon, sliced

5 thyme sprigs

5 rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves

How to Make It

Preheat oven to 425° .

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms, sweet potatoes, fennel, and apples with 3 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. The sheet pan will be crowded, but roasting will shrink their size.

Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Rub top with remaining 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle inside and outside of chicken evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Stuff chicken cavity with lemon slices, thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves.

Place chicken, breast side up, on top of the vegetable mixture on the sheet pan.

Roast at 425° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°; continue roasting, rotating pan occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, another 90-95 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

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