Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Cauliflower


A whole roasted chicken is dramatic enough on its own. It’s one of those great kitchen tricks (that’s actually easier than it appears) every home cook should have in his or her back pocket. But this version? Above and beyond. We tried roasting an entire chicken over a layer of cauliflower “steaks,” and the result is pretty glorious. The vegetable soaks up flavor from the chicken and gets crispy and caramelized around the edges. The chicken roasts to perfection and doesn’t get soggy on the bottom. And, another plus: No need for gravy. Turn the pan juices into a fast, tangy vinaigrette with some herbs and lemon juice.

Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Cauliflower
No need for gravy: Turn the pan juices into a fast, tangy vinaigrette with some herbs and lemon juice. Get the recipe. Photo: Roland Bello
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
4 serves


  • 1 small head cauliflower, sliced through the stalk into 1-inch “steaks”

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 3½- to 4-pound chicken

  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons capers


  1. Heat oven to 400° F.

  2. Place the cauliflower in a single layer on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

  3. Place the chicken on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a breast and thigh (avoiding the bone) registers 165° F, 50 minutes to 1 hour, 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish.

  5. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving on a cutting board.

  6. Transfer the chicken to the serving dish with the cauliflower.

  7. Pour 3 tablespoons of the pan juices into a small bowl. (If you don’t have enough pan juices, make up the difference with water; first spoon water into the roasting pan and scrape up the browned bits.)

  8. Add the parsley, lemon juice, capers, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and mix to combine.

  9. Serve the sauce over the chicken and cauliflower.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

671 Calories
46g Fat
9g Carbs
55g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 671
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 166mg 55%
Sodium 808mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 55g
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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