Sheet Pan

Engagement Roast Chicken With Carrot Panzanella

March  5, 2019
11 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 1 (for dinner, plus a couple lunches)
Author Notes

No matter the occasion or the experience level of the cook, roast chicken is always impressive—and it is, for me, always home food. I'd never order roast chicken at a restaurant, no matter how perfect I know it'll be, because I associate it so much with the gentle hummings of the kitchen and the inimitable comforts of domesticity. Which means: at my own table, with my own things. My own chicken.

This roast chicken recipe has gone through many iterations over the years, ever since my first attempt at 20 years old, flipping through the chewy language of Nigella Lawson's How to Eat in my tiny Manhattan kitchenette, with a gas oven that somehow undercooked and burned everything at once. Tweaked according to my current tastes (now with carrots, red onions, and croutons instead of potatoes and garlic, with flaky sea salt and black pepper instead of the cumin and cinnamon I once adored), my bird today is simple and straightforward.

The feat of pulling a perfect roast chicken out of the oven has always felt like a celebration of my independence and a testament to my self-sufficiency. Indelible proof that if I can do this, then I can do anything. In the name of sologamy, then, it only makes sense that I call this recipe Engagement Roast Chicken. It's a commitment to the person I love most: me. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Engagement Roast Chicken for When You're Getting Married (to Yourself). —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces on the bias
  • 1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the chicken
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste, plus 2 teaspoons for the chicken
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved, divided
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste, or 1 to 2 anchovy fillets, smashed to smithereens with a fork
  • 2 teaspoons malt vinegar (or any of your choice)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 ounces sourdough bread, crusts removed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a quarter sheet pan (the best vessel for crisping up a roast chicken), toss together the carrots, red onion, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. (Don't go too heavy on the seasoning here, as this is getting dressed in a vinaigrette later.)
  3. Perch the chicken on top of the vegetables, rubbing it with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and seasoning all sides (top, bottom, and inside cavity) with the 2 teaspoons salt and a very generous grinding of black pepper. Stuff the cavity with one of the lemon halves.
  4. Roast the chicken for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the thigh meat reaches 165°F. (Another trick is to just multiply the weight of your chicken by 15; in other words, go for about 15 minutes per pound.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and the zest and juice of the other lemon half, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  6. Once the chicken is done roasting, remove the pan from the oven and carefully, with two forks, set the bird onto a wooden cutting board to rest for 10 minutes at least. Throw the roasted carrots and onions, along with all of the pan juices, into the bowl with the anchovy vinaigrette.
  7. Place the bread pieces onto the sheet pan you've just emptied and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy. Throw into the salad bowl, along with the chopped parsley, and toss.
  8. Meanwhile, the chicken should have rested just the right amount of time. Carve it and plate a portion for yourself alongside some of the panzanella. Turn the chicken over and eat the two oysters before heading over to the television with your roast chicken dinner.
  9. Note: Store the rest of the chicken and panzanella in the fridge to eat throughout the week. (Don’t forget to save the carcass for stock later.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stacy Sandler
    Stacy Sandler
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
  • Linda D
    Linda D
  • Lisa J
    Lisa J
Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

18 Reviews

Linda D. August 23, 2023
Like so many others, I made the recipe exactly as written. So very good! Thank you Eric
Lisa J. November 16, 2022
Oh my dear God. I just made this (I mean, I just tossed the croutons with the salad & parsley). The chicken is perfect, and the flavor of the carrots and onions, etc. Do yourself a favor and cook it exactly as written!
First of many.
EMF February 28, 2022
I’m home after being away for 2 weeks with a new grand baby. To celebrate my homecoming, I’m making this tonight for my husband as a welcome back to our life gift. So excited, it’s one of our favorites. I make it as per your recipe and throw in a bulb of fennel. Thank you Eric.
Stacy S. February 20, 2022
This was delicious and easy! I will definitely make it again. Thank you!
Katie M. October 4, 2020
This recipe is incredible. I rarely make the same meal twice within a month, and this is the second time in two weeks that I have made this recipe. It's simple, and easy, yet incredibly decadent. This time I added in some Brussels sprouts as well to up the veg proportion, and both times have used sherry vinegar. Everything else on the recipe has been followed to a T.
Eric K. October 5, 2020
Hi Katie, thank you. That makes me so happy. I too just made this for dinner tonight.
Amy September 13, 2020
Not a fan of anchovies. Could miso substitute here?
Eric K. October 5, 2020
Sure! Could also just nix completely.
AmberRG May 11, 2020
This is truly my favorite meal. I can not get enough of it. I’m making it tonight and I am giddy looking at this recipe. I love everything about it: flavors, texture, the ease of everything coming together. When someone asks me for dinner ideas I send them this recipe.
Eric K. October 5, 2020
Amber! Thank you!
Alison May 29, 2019
Do no hesitate to try this recipe! Ever since I made it the first time, my husband and I have this nearly every week. I am not exaggerating...probably 6-7 times now? I follow the recipe exactly, except I like to double the bread salad portion of the recipe, since it seems to disappear REALLY quickly. This recipe is also requires very little active time to throw together and makes few dishes!
Eric K. May 29, 2019
Alison, you have my heart!
Desiree D. April 8, 2019
Loved this recipe, it was so easy and cane together as more than the sum of its parts. I didn't have malt vinegar so used red wine vinegar and a little extra brown sugar, worked a treat! This is definitely going in rotation :)
Eric K. October 5, 2020
Dana M. March 13, 2019
This was ah. maz. ing. I’m pretty sure roasting a chicken is my absolute favorite thing to do in the kitchen, but add this amazing salad along with it, and you’ve got something pretty perfect. I made the recipe exactly as followed, except I forgot to buy the anchovy paste so I just used a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. After dinner there was a bit of the panzanella left and I wondered how it would keep in the fridge. Would it just turn soggy? Turned out not to a problem since while I cleaned the kitchen, I kept returning to the bowl to pick out bits of bread until it was gone. Problem solved! Thank you for an absolutely wonderful recipe!
Eric K. March 14, 2019
Dana, this makes me so happy. I post a lot of recipes, but I felt strongly about this one, as it took many takes to get just right (that's a lot of roast chickens for one!).

And agreed, the panzanella really is the star.
Dogolaca March 11, 2019
This was a winner. In my "cooking for one" world a whole chicken is too much, so I adapted this to a half spatchcocked chicken, roasted at a higher temperature, with lemon slices under it. The bold dressing on the bread salad worked great. Next time I'll use more carrots.
Eric K. March 11, 2019