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. —Eric Kim
In a skillet or quarter sheet pan, toss the carrots, red onion, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and a little salt and pepper together (don't go too heavy on the S&P, as this is getting dressed in a vinaigrette later).
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.
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.)
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.
Once the chicken is done roasting, remove pan from 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.
Place the bread pieces onto the same sheet pan 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.
Meanwhile, the chicken should have rested just the right amount of time. Carve it and plate a portion for yourself alongside some of the bread salad. Turn the chicken over and eat the two oysters before heading over to the television with your roast chicken dinner.
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.)
Eric Kim is a senior editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.