Recipe: Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

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You know what pre-dated Pinterest fails? Recipe fails.

I’ve had my fair share of ’em, which is why I’m excited to share this practically-foolproof winter meal with roasted root vegetables.

If you’re feeling timid about working with a whole chicken, just ask the butcher to butterfly it for you at the store. Believe me, there’s nothing quite like these veggies, which soak up all the yummy juices from the skin and flavor from the bones!

Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb. chicken, butterflied open
  • 5-6 small potatoes
  • 3-4 small beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and/or peel and roughly chop potatoes, beets, carrots, celery, onion and garlic.
  3. Spread veggies out on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and half of the seasonings.
  4. Lay chicken on top of veggies, drizzling with more olive oil, and sprinkling on the other half of the seasonings. Slice lemon and place a few slices on top.
  5. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165 degrees F.
  6. Transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes, and return the veggies to the oven to crisp up for 5-10 more minutes.
  7. Plate on a platter with veggies on the bottom, chicken on top, and garnish with a squeeze of roasted lemon.

Try not to overcrowd the vegetables in the pan; the more room you leave between them, the more they’ll cook evenly through.

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If you want an even juicier bird, rub it with the seasonings and an extra tablespoon of salt the night before, allowing it to soak everything up overnight in the refrigerator.

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You’ll know the veggies are done when they’ve got a nice caramelized glaze on them and you can pierce them easily with a fork.

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Even after the chicken skin browns up, you’ll want to check the underside to make sure it’s done; the first time I made this recipe, some of the thicker parts needed more time to cook through.

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Special occasion? Serve with a nice light red or creamy white wine, and enjoy!

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Healthy office habits: 10 ways to squeeze some fitness into your work day

Find your workday zen: Stretching at your desk at regular intervals relieves tension and tight muscles

Find your workday zen: Stretching at your desk at regular intervals relieves tension and tight muscles

If you’re pressed for time – or just not feeling the gym – there’s still hope for staying in shape despite a hectic weekly schedule. Read on for 10 tips for incorporating a focus on fitness into your work day.

  1. Eat breakfast: A healthy day at the office starts before you leave the house. Eating breakfast not only stokes metabolic fires and staves off late-day junk food binges, but it also improves concentration, allowing you to tackle mid-morning challenges with ease.
  2. Step to it: Forget about jockeying for the spot closest to the door; instead, park across the lot and hoof it in. It adds mere minutes to your commute, but walking those few extra steps burns calories, gets blood pumping and charges you up for the day ahead.
  3. Take the stairs: Unless you’re in a skyscraper (no, three floors does not count), taking a few flights up and down is a great way to bookend your workday with exercise. Bonus points for storming the stairwell at lunch and during bathroom breaks!
  4. Forgo the phone: Tempted to send a quick email or call that colleague down the hall? Let your legs do the walking instead of your fingers, and you’ll burn some calories and make a healthy face-to-face connection.
  5. Make errands work for you: Set your trash walking-distance from your desk, go to the printer at the end of the aisle, hit the mail room once a day, etc. Forcing yourself to get up at intervals throughout the day is good for both mind and body.
  6. Brown bag it: Save time, money and calories by packing your own lunch. Sure, it takes a few minutes each weekend to portion out five days of healthy meals, but it pays off when you’ve got a nutritious and delicious grab-and-go meal to ward off the afternoon slump.
  7. Eat, then hit the street: Enjoy your lunch, but use the second half of the hour to get outside, stretch your legs and breathe some fresh air. Taking that  time to clear your head allows you to attack the afternoon while others are battling a fast-food coma.
  8. Stretch it out: Prolonged sitting in front of the computer can be a pain in the neck – literally. Every hour or so, try to take a few minutes to perform some simple desk stretches that can help ease muscle tightness and tension.
  9. Don’t forget to hydrate: Water is vital to many of the body’s functions, so regular intake of fluid is important throughout the day. And since the brain is 90 percent water, proper hydration leads to better concentration, productivity and alertness.
  10. Snack smart: Looking for an extra boost between meals? A combo of carbohydrates and protein will help maintain blood sugar levels and stave off cravings, so stock your desk full of fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts and other goodies to avoid the afternoon siren song of the vending machine.