Roasted Smoked Chicken with Spring Vegetables, Garlic and Rosemary
Seasoned with lots of garlic and fresh rosemary, this chicken dish comes to us from Chef Tim Hollingsworth, an alum of Napa Valley’s acclaimed French Laundry restaurant. For this satisfying meal, he roasts the bird on a Traeger grill with a medley of spring vegetables, including potatoes, beets and carrots, which mingle with the flavorful meaty juices. The chicken needs to brine for about 12 hours and then air-dry in the refrigerator overnight, so plan accordingly.
For the brine and chicken:
- 3 lemons
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
- 10 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. peppercorns
- 2 gallons (8 l) water
- 1 chicken, 4 to 5 lb. (2 to 2.5 kg)
10 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 4 to 6 chunks
- 6 beets, halved lengthwise
- 1 bunch carrots, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
- 1 garlic head, halved lengthwise
- Olive oil as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
To make the brine, using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons, then juice the lemons. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the lemon zest and juice, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic, salt, peppercorns and 1 gallon (4 l) of the water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add the remaining 1 gallon (4 l) water. Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold. Pour the brine into a large container, add the chicken and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Let air-dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight.
Set the temperature on a Traeger wood pellet grill to 450°F (230°C), close the lid and preheat according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the potatoes, beets, carrots and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Spread the vegetables evenly on a grill-safe, high-heat, high-walled 12-inch (30-cm) skillet, leaving room in the center for the chicken. Place the lemon halves, cut sides down, on the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, distributing the seasonings evenly over the skin, then season the cavity. Place the chicken in the center of the skillet and arrange the rosemary sprigs around the chicken.
Place the skillet on the grill grate and close the lid. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F (74°C) and the vegetables are tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the vegetables and lemon halves. Serves 4.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Tim Hollingsworth