I know, I know—a recipe for roasting chicken that takes over an hour is billed as a Simple Weeknight Meal. But it’s just so hands-off and satisfying that I would call this a Simple Thursday Night Meal. Meaning that it’s easy but also gives you enough time to sip an extra martini, because it feels like your week may never end. And the hour-plus is all in the oven. As soon as your oven is hot (and frankly, there is no rule that says you can’t put food in your oven before it is completely heated), you can stick in the chicken, and the vegetables can be prepped while it’s cooking and thrown in as they are needed. If it looks like there are way too many vegetables, there are not. Your spouse or roommate or pet or parent may be saying, “That’s too much, we’re never going to eat all of that,” but make them a second martini and tell them everything will be okay. Trust me.
Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and position the oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. To quarter the chicken, first cut out the spine as if you were spatchcocking it. Then, make shallow slits on either side of the breastbone to loosen it, but instead of removing the breastbone, like we do when we spatchcock, simply cut directly through it, splitting the chicken in
half lengthwise. Then, cut through the skin separating the thighs from the breast to make quarters.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in a large roasting pan and put it in the oven. Now set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes!
Cut the potatoes, unpeeled, into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes. In the same large bowl as the chicken, toss them with 2 teaspoons of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt. When the timer goes off, toss the potatoes into the pan with the chicken, and if you want to be truly awesome, place them peel-side down so they won’t stick to the pan. Set another timer for 25 minutes.
Core the cabbage and cut it into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks. Toss them with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt in our favorite large bowl and add to the roasting pan when the timer goes off again. Use a spatula to free the chicken from the pan if it is sticking and give everything a good toss. (You can remove the chicken breast pieces from the pan at this time and reserve them on your cutting board, if you like yours on the juicier side; if you're looking for greater ease, feel free to keep them in the pan for the whole roasting time.) Set a final timer for 30 more minutes.
Throw the peas into the bowl with the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, letting them just pick up what is left in there. When the timer goes off for the last time, add them to the roasting pan (and put the reserved chicken breasts back into the pan, if you've gone that route) and turn the broiler to high. Broil the chicken and vegetables until everything is dark around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how intense your broiler is and how close the pan is to it.
To serve, scoop the vegetables onto four plates and top with a triumphant chicken piece. Finish with a light sprinkle of salt and a tiny drizzle of oil.