Roasted Chicken with Onions, Cranberries and Rosemary

This sweet, herbacious and savory chicken just looks so elegant on the dinner table; your guests will think you spent half the day in the kitchen but it's actually a snap to put together. Serve alongside roasted sweet potatoes for a truly wonderful holiday meal.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 20 minutes

1 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken, defrosted, washed and blotted dry with a paper towel
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (do not use cranberry sauce)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Splash of dry white wine (optional)
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 whole head of garlic, outer husks removed and cut in half cross-wise
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to season

Preheat your oven to 450 F.

Place chicken in a 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Carefully run your fingers under the skin while being careful not to tear the skin; you only want to separate the skin from the meat. With (clean hands), rub softened butter underneath the skin and over the meat, covering as much as you can. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the skin and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Place the garlic in the cavity. Tie up the legs of the chicken with kitchen string; this step isn't necessary but the chicken will hold together better when roasting and it will look much prettier on the table before you carve.

Arrange the onion quarters, cranberries and rosemary around the chicken in the baking dish add stock and wine (if using).

Roast the chicken at 450 F for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 F and continue to cook for 20 minutes per pound. The chicken should be 165 F internally; use a meat thermometer to check or make sure the juices around the legs are running clear. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

To serve, carve chicken and place on a serving dish with roasting juices and cranberries. We like to eat the roasted onions as well -- they're delicious!

*COOK'S NOTE: After carving, save the carcass, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Put carcass in a large slow cooker, add onions, carrots, celery, parsley, mushrooms, whole peppercorns and enough water to cover. Cook on low for 10-12 hours, strain and you will have the best chicken stock ever!