Brain Food Recipe: Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

There’s nothing like the mouthwatering smell that fills the house when roasting a bird. And it’s easy dish to prepare. This dish also makes excellent leftovers, which can be savored a day or two later with our chicken salad sandwich. Good-bye, deli meat. Hello, hand-carved cuts. Chicken is a great source of complete protein, and it’s particularly rich in tryptophan, which can boost mood. It is also packed with niacin that can decrease your risk of cognitive decline. Carrots provide lots of beta-carotene, and turnips are loaded with lutein, a top fat-soluble antioxidant that protects your vision.

Serves 2, with leftovers
Prep time: 45 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour


1 medium (3–4 pounds) organic chicken
4 carrots
2 onions
1 turnip
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ bottle white wine or 2 cups chicken stock
½ stick butter


Take the bird out of the refrigerator. Wash in cold water and pat dry. Let warm to room temperature for 30 minutes while you do rest of the prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop the carrots, onions, and turnip and place in a large bowl. Mix with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and the juice from the lemons.

Stuff the chicken with the rosemary, vegetables, and lemon rinds and place in a baking dish. Scatter the remaining veggies around the bird. Pour the wine or stock over the bird. Smear a thick coat of butter on the bird. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and cook for at least 1 hour, or until juices run clear when you poke a hole in the chicken with a skewer or fork.

As seen in The Happiness Diet

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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