Thursday, March 19, 2020

Roast Chicken for Stressful Times @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I have a new favorite cookbook with a new favorite recipe in it. The book is called Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman and it has the best chicken recipe ever right on the cover. Her theory is that having company should not be stressful--don't you love that?

I asked for this cookbook for my birthday in January and I have made the chicken five times since then. It’s a wonderful company dinner because it’s so easy and yet comes out so beautifully. 

But it’s also a recipe for anxious times and surely we are in them now! Please know that our thoughts and hearts are with every one of you right now--we'll get through this by working together...


One whole chicken (I buy organic chickens because the quality really matters)
One and a half tablespoons fennel seeds
1 to 2 heads of fresh garlic
Six to 8 small tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
A drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper
A handful of fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

In Alison's instructions, she recommends placing the cooked chicken on slices of good bread after everything is cooked, and then drizzling with the pan juices. I am sure this would be delicious, but I ended up using a bunch of fresh spinach underneath the chicken instead. It’s beautiful and gives you a green vegetable without going to any extra trouble. Last week I also served it with mashed potatoes--serious comfort food!

Place the chicken in a baking dish. Stuff the cavity with the oregano. Drizzle olive oil on the chicken, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Mash the fennel seeds either in a mortar and pestle or grind them up with a spice grinder. Tap the seeds all over the top of the chicken. 

Around the edge of the chicken, arrange the garlic cloves and the tomatoes. The garlic cloves should be separated but you don’t need to peel them. Cut the butter into cubes and sprinkle this around the dish.

Bake in a 325 oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. It is done when the skin is crispy and a thermometer measures 180°. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar over top and let the chicken sit for 10 minutes or so.You can serve the chicken hot--arrange it on a platter of spinach with the tomatoes and garlic. Spoon the juices over the chicken and the vegetables. This also can be made before your company arrives and served at room temperature. Honestly it’s delicious and amazing!

Please take care and stay safe!!

Only four months until the next book in the Key West food critic mystery series will arrive in bookstores everywhere! THE KEY LIME CRIME (July 2020) is available for pre-order now!

You can order it at an independent bookstoreBarnes and Noble, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mystery series, featuring fiesty food critic Hayley Snow. Number 9, A DEADLY FEAST, is in stores and online everywhere. THE KEY LIME CRIME will be published next summer. Early reviews are rolling in...


  1. I got my daughter this cookbook for Christmas! She loves it. This looks heavenly and I can't wait to try it!

    1. So many great recipes in it. I need to move on from this one and try some of the others LOL

  2. That sounds delicious. I love regular roasted chicken. Will have to give it a try. Thanks

  3. I'm going to try this recipe! The fennel makes it unlike any other chicken recipe I've tried. I love garlic, but not having to peel it means it even better. Thanks!

    1. She is a genius about making things easier so you don’t have to stress about guests. Although we’re not having guests right now so that solves that problem!