Roast Chicken with Apples and Onions

I'm going to have lots of chances to perfect my chicken roasting skills in the next few months - I just got hired to work as the pack shed manager at JenEhr Family Farm in Sun Prairie. Part of the compensation is all the vegetables I can eat plus one free pasture raised chicken a week. That's right - a free chicken every week! We've already got big plans for summer-time grilling! The job won't start till April 1, but we were able to find this beautiful little bird at the Saturday market.

These apples had been sitting around for way too long. No, they're not local, except the big red one- that's an Ida Red from Ella Orchards. The others are Granny Smiths and a Pink Lady, from Washington I think. They were definitely a little worse for wear, but perfect for cooking.

There's pretty slim pickins for local onions these days. Most of the onions at the farmer's market are so small that peeling them takes much patience - Dave has pretty much put his foot down and refused to deal with them any more. I can't say I blame him! These came from Willy Street. They're not organic, but they are a nice medium/large size and local. People always ask me if I think local trumps organic or vise versa. I don't have a good answer to that - it all depends on the details of how and where things were grown.....in this case, I decided to go with local.

This is the stuffing I made for the chicken. Apples, onions, sage, lemon juice, a little melted butter, salt and pepper.

I rubbed some melted butter on the chicken, stuffed as much of the apple mixture as I could fit inside it, and put it in the oven. I've become pretty partial to the Julia Child method for oven roasted chicken. I start it really hot (425 degrees) breast side up. After 5 minutes I turn in onto one side. After another 5 minutes I turn it on the other side, and after 5 minutes more breast side down, baste it, and turn the heat down to 350. Julia Child would definitely truss a chicken too, but that's still a little intimidating to me. They always turn out well without trussing, so it's hard for me to see the point. Maybe someday I'll get it down, especially with all the chickens I'm going to get this summer!

When it had about a half hour left to cook I basted it with its juices, added the rest of the onions/apple mixture to the pan and put it back in the oven.

Here's the finished bird. Beautiful! I really like how the skin darkened. I think it's because the juice from the apples is sweet enough to caramelize.

A very nice dinner indeed! It went very well with the dark rye bread I've been in love with recently and my homemade butter.

Roast Chicken with Apples and Onions

1 Whole chicken
3-4 Apples
2-3 Yellow onions
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons melted butter
Dried sage

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop onions and apples into bit sized pieces. Toss together with lemon juice, half of the melted butter, sage, salt and pepper. Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the remaining butter into the skin. Stuff as much of the apple mixture into the chicken as possible. Place in a roasting pan breast up and put in oven. After five minutes turn chicken onto one side and put back in oven. In another 5 minutes, turn chicken onto its other side. After another 5 minutes, turn chicken breast down and baste with any juices in the pan. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Take chicken out. Baste and add remaining apple/onion mixture to the pan. Roast for another 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees. Let chicken stand for about 10 minutes at room temperature before carving.

share on: Facebook


  1. I used this recipe as inspiration tonight. It turned out very well. I rubbed some fresh thyme and rosemary under the skin of the breast, and sprinkled it on the skin all over.

    I'll definitely be using this idea again. Thanks.

  2. Took the kids apple picking yesterday and I have found myself with an abundance of fresh apples. I typically do my whole chicken in a crock pot on low since I work an hour from home and there is nothing better than walking into a house smelling of dinner you don't have to prepare at the end of a long day. I'm trying this recipe out today in the crockpot... Hopefully I will be able to report deliciousness!!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.