Paprika-Roasted Chicken Halves with Spring Carrots
Recipe by Sarah Copeland @edibleliving
A proper roast chicken is classic comfort food, yet a whole bird is all too easy to over- or undercook on a rushed weeknight. Roasting chickens in halves yields all the same crispy- skinned flavor but with a more even cooking time, yielding tender, succulent meat beneath the blistered skin.
The simple paprika rub imparts loads of flavor, with almost no effort. Serve the roasted chickens straight-up (carved into quarters or smaller after cooking), or pull off the meat throughout the week to use as a flavorful filling for tacos or enchiladas, or to top rice bowls and salads.
Butcher’s Note from Paul Greenblatt: Farmer Focus whole chicken is a really flavorful bird that is sure to impress! Half chickens are one of my favorite things to roast because they cook faster than a whole broiler and are easy to flavor, either simply seasoned with salt and pepper or with your favorite dry rub. Both the white and dark meat are juicy and flavorful, but I go straight for the crispy wings. To have your chicken halved, just ask anyone at the butcher counter—we’re happy to do it for you!
1 (4-pound) Farmer Focus whole chicken, halved and backbone removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 small bunches young or baby carrots, scrubbed
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil, onion, carrots, and lemon. Spread the onion on a sheet pan, followed by the carrots, then the lemon. Roast for about 15 minutes, until softened.
2. Meanwhile, pat the chicken completely dry on all sides with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, and pepper and spread the mixture all over the skin of the chicken, taking care to get it into all the creases.
3. Place the chicken directly on the parcooked onion, carrots, and lemons, skin side up. Drizzle with the butter.
4. Roast until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165°F), 35 to 40 minutes, basting or brushing the skin with the juices once during cooking. For the crispiest skin, increase the oven temperature to 500°F for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
5. Let the chicken rest until the juices redistribute around the meat, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken, vegetables, and lemons to a platter, scatter with the chopped herbs, and garnish with the rosemary, sage, and bay leaves. Carve and serve pieces of the chicken with some cooked onions and carrots, and garnished with more preserved lemon. Squeeze some warm preserved lemon over each plate, or let you guests help themselves.