Splayed Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables Recipe
Place a large cast-iron (or other heavy ovenproof) skillet in the oven and preheat to 500°. Leave the pan in the oven for 45 minutes, as the oven preheats and gets to temperature. (If your oven is dirty, it will smoke, so look it over before cranking up the heat.)
While the oven and pan preheat, place the chicken on a cutting board and season it all over with the salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin connecting the legs to the body. Splay the thighs open until you feel the joint pop on each side, then place 2 of the lemon wedges inside the chicken. Set aside.
Prep the leeks by first trimming off the rough, dark green top and root bottom. Slice the white and light green part in half vertically, and then into thin half rounds. Rinse the sliced leeks in a large pot of water to remove the trapped dirt. Drain.
Prep the asparagus by trimming the ends and slicing the stalks vertically into thin sticks. Prep the scallions by trimming the root ends and slicing in half vertically. When the pan is ready, carefully remove it from the oven and pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Transfer the chicken, breast-side up, to the hot skillet. Drizzle the bird with another tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, toss in all the veggies (you'll have to use a spatula to squish everything in around the bird), the remaining lemon quarters and another tablespoon of oil. Roast for 5 minutes more, then stir again. Continue roasting for 10 more minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the skin is golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carve and serve with the pan juices and vegetables.
From Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work by Sarah Waldman, © 2016 by Sarah Waldman. Photographs by Elizabeth Cecil. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO, www.RoostBooks.com.