I know I've been doing a lot of cooking with bacon lately but it seriously gives everything so much flavor! I got this idea from none other than Ina Garten who I've been totally into on the Food Network lately. She cooks her husband roast chicken every Friday night because it is his favorite dish. I LOVE roast chicken and frequently take a short cut by getting a rotisserie one from the store. My husband hates them and complains every time I serve one for dinner. But, for some reason, he really likes it when I roast a whole chicken. Of course it is more work for me but if it means I get roast chicken, I'll take it! Plus, there is the added bonus of getting to make homemade chicken stock from the carcass.
Ina kicked her roast chicken up a notch by crisping bacon on the skin while she roasted the chicken. She pulled it off and used it in a salad that she served with the chicken and then the bacon was left giving the chicken great flavor. Genius! Ina's Perfect Roast Chicken recipe was my inspiration but I added lots of veggies in the roasting dish so that I had the sides (minus the salad) taken care of in one dish.
You can use any veggies you like - I chopped carrots, onions and Yukon gold potatoes for this. Make sure you season them with salt and pepper.
For the chicken: get one whole chicken, remove giblets and wash and dry. Season generously (both on the outside and in the inside) with salt and pepper. Stuff chicken with an entire bulb of garlic (halved, no need to remove skin), 1 lemon (halved), 1 onion (halved or quartered - depending on what fits), a handful of fresh parsley and a handful of time.
Set chicken on top of veggies and drizzle everything with olive oil. Spread bacon on top of chicken.
Cook at 425 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add some dollops of butter to the top of the chicken and return to the hot oven and cook for about 20 minutes until skin is browned and crispy and chicken is cooked through.
Make a side salad and top with bacon. I had spiced pecans and blue cheese in my salad as well with balsamic vinaigrette.
Enjoy chicken with veggies and salad and you've got a delicious dinner that will serve at least 4 people! Don't forget to save the chicken carcass for homemade chicken broth...