Few things say comfort to me like a roasted whole chicken. Traditionally, roasted chicken is served with mashed potatoes and some sort of vegetable. In his cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home,Thomas Keller presents whole roasted chicken a bit differently. He roasts it on a bed of root vegetables; including leeks, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, yellow onions & red potatoes. I altered the recipe a bit, my bed of veg included rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and onions. An important tip that Keller gives is to let the chicken stand at room temperature for 1.5 hours before you roast it. After you peel and cut up your vegetables you create a bed on the bottom of your cooking vessel, in this case a Le Creuset dutch oven. Keller recommends a cast iron skillet, but mine was not big enough. Next, season your bird. Generously season the cavity of the bird with salt and pepper, garlic and sprigs of thyme. Rub the outside with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Nest the bird in the center of the veg. You roast this puppy at 475 degrees for 20 min and then reduce the heat to 400 degrees for 45 min. This results in a juicy chicken with gloriously caramelized vegetables.
I paired this with a 2010 Marsanne from Cooper Wine Company. The floral nose and medium weight of this wine melded beautifully with the caramelized root vegetables. This is a great food wine because it has a nice mouth feel and can stand up to rich flavors. It also has very little acid which makes it a great pairing with herbs and poultry.