I would own a Dutch oven just so I could roast whole chickens. This recipe is especially vibrant, with peppery radishes absorbing the savory drippings of the chicken. It's an elegant and earthy spring dinner that's easy to make yet impressive enough for company. I like to wilt the leaves of the radishes in the pan juices just before serving because they take on tons of flavor and provide the perfect bitter contrast.
Prepare the radishes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and trim the radish greens and set them aside for later. Halve the radish roots lengthwise and spread them out in a Dutch oven. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Season and stuff the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then brush it all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the entire chicken with salt and pepper, and place it on top of the radishes in the Dutch oven. Fold the scallions and stuff them and the lemon inside the chicken's cavity.
Roast and serve the chicken. Roast the chicken, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the juices run clear and an instant read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of a breast. Remove the pot from the oven. While the chicken is hot, stuff the reserved radish greens in the pot around the chicken to steam; let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Carve and serve it with the wilted radish greens, pan juices, and roasted radishes.
Chicken: While I recommend a 4 to 4.5 pound bird in this recipe, that's only because I am giving you an exact time. If you use a heavier bird, you can add an extra 10 minutes to the recipe or use an internal thermometer in the breast as a guide.Regardless of the internal temperature, I sometimes prefer to go by the golden color and crispiness of the skin.Always use a fully defrosted bird before attempting to roast. Remove the chicken from the freezer 2 days before you plan to cook it.
What if my Dutch oven is too small?
If your Dutch oven is too small to accommodate a whole chicken, you could use a cornish hen and decrease the cooking time. You could also break the chicken down into sections and roast them on top of the radishes until they reach 165°F.