I love the simplicity of this recipe. I'd seen Ina (Barefoot Contessa) cook this so many times, and it always looks so simple and delish. There was one thing holding me back though, to be honest, I thought it looked kind of boring! But I'm a big Ina fan, and I've cooked so many of her amazing recipes over the years, so I trusted that this would be just as good.
I was intrigued by the abundance of thyme in this recipe! She uses a huge amount. And puts a whole lemon and a whole head of garlic inside the chicken! I guess it's no surprise where all the flavour comes from.
Today I made it, minus the fennel (which I didn't have on hand). Fennel has a very distinctive taste that you'll either love or hate. I still love it with just the onions and carrots, and I also put on a tray of baked potatoes for hubby.
This meal is a go-to for me when I want to have something tasty, but still healthy. A nice juicy chicken breast (minus the skin, sadly) with the roasted carrots and onions is the perfect winter comfort meal when you're looking for that healthier option. And in contrast, my husband eats it with about 4 slices of bread and butter, and many crispy baked potatoes!
Also, I sometimes whip up a little lemon-y/chicken gravy using the juices from the roasting pan. I know that when I freestyle and don't take note of measurements, some of you get a little cranky with me! ;)
But for those of you who want to give it a go, here's what I did:
I drained the juices from the bottom of the pan and put them in a saucepan.
Over low heat I added some plain flour (maybe 2 tablespoons).
Whisk until smooth.
Then I added about half a cup of warm water and continued whisking.
Then sea salt and cracked pepper.
Then about a 1/3 cup of cream.
And I just continued stirring until it felt right.
It didn't make a huge amount, but I just wanted a really tasty, gravy full of flavour.
And not to toot my own horn, but it was pretty much the best thing I've ever tasted. I ended up eating some with a spoon straight from the gravy boat! You should've hear the mmmmm/yum noises coming from Hubby. Lol. Hopefully the next time I make it I can replicate it perfectly.