Second only to actually being Ina Garten's husband, Jeffrey, true happiness is watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and channeling Garten's spirited warmth in our own kitchens. For obvious reasons, we've been in love with the chef's particular brand of elevated comfort food since her show debuted in 2002, and we still find ourselves digging through Food Network archives to find her top recipes.
Enter her perfect roast chicken, which is her most popular recipe out of all 1236 meals chronicled on the website. With over 1000 reviews, 86 comments, and a five-star rating, her roasted chicken has served as the springboard for many successful dinner parties. Per the reviews, the meal is easy to make, "succulently delicious," and, for lack of a better word, perfect. Find Ina Garten's most popular Barefoot Contessa recipe below:
Freshly ground black pepper
Yellow onion, thickly sliced
Carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
Fennel, tops removed and cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Head over to The Food Network for the full recipe.