It may not have snowed much in our part of New York this year, but there have been some pretty darn cold days -- and nights. And on those cold nights, there's nothing I crave as much as a simple roast chicken. Piping hot, makes the house smell nice, and while it's at its best when I plan ahead and do a one-day brine and one-day let-dry-in-the-fridge, it's also great if I just oil it up, pop it in the oven, and wait.
Sides can be anything you want -- I'm fond of green beans slow-cooked with bacon, McHenry-style -- but a sweet potato cooked either in or out of the pan is a great choice, and you'll see here a mashed-up melange of potato and celery root also has its place.
The best thing about roast chicken is how it makes the house smell. The second best thing? Leftovers.
(Cooked down the picked-over chicken bones to make stock, added soy and hot sauce and noodles and scallions and whatnot, seasoned with ginger and garlic and star anise. Don't eat the star anise.)