My family and I LOVE roasted chicken. I used to roast a whole chicken with veggies every Friday night. One Friday night my husband said he was tired of having that. What? Tired of my roasted chicken? So, the next week I cut the whole chicken into parts and roasted it in the oven. He raved, he loved it, such a nice change...um, it's still the same chicken roasted, just in pieces! But whatever works! It takes less time to cook and everyone loves it. Last night I asked my husband if he would like me to roast a whole chicken like I used to do. He said he would rather have it in pieces. So I sliced some lemons and took out the fresh time.
To cut up a whole chicken you can use a sharp chef's knife or kitchen shears. I used shears. You really just need to know where to cut and then it's easy! It literally took me about 3 minutes to cut up the chicken. I like to use my "cheat sheet" so I make the cuts in the right spots. I have a Martha Stewart book that shows pictures of the best way to cut up a chicken that I use all the time. They use a knife in the pics, which I have done, but if you have a great pear of kitchen shears, that works even faster. Then just put your pieces on a large sheet pan.
Pull the skin back from the meat and season with salt and pepper. This helps the meat become flavorful UNDER the skin.
Place a small bunch of fresh thyme and a slice or two of lemon, depending on how big the piece of chicken is, underneath the skin.
Cover the skin back over the chicken breast, leg or thigh. I have cut the skin and done the same with the wings, but didn't do it this time. I figured the kids could eat those without lemon, and they did.
Drizzle the entire pan of meat with extra virgin olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. If wings and legs are done before the breast and thighs, just take them out and put them on a plate with foil to stay warm. Use a digital thermometer to check to make sure the chicken is heated through. Remember if it is close to the temperature you want, that is good. It will continue to cook a bit while it sets and the heat redistributes the juices.
When the chicken was almost done I put sliced carrots into a pan with about 1/4-1/2 cup of water and placed the lid on top. Simmer the carrots for 5-7 minutes. Add butter or olive oil and salt and pepper and then continue to cook with the lid off until the liquid evaporates.
Chicken with lemon and thyme, sauted carrots and leftover beer bread. Yum. Enjoy!