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Simple Roast Chicken and Potatoes

The ultimate in Friday night or Sunday dinner comfort food – roast chicken and potatoes. The chicken is moist and flavorful, but it’s the potatoes that are outstanding. They absorb the juices from the chicken, lemon, onion and garlic – and taste sublime. You do not want to miss them. 

This one pan chicken and potatoes recipe is simple and rustic. Nothing fancy. Just delish.

chicken quarter leg with asparagus and potatoes on plate

Start with a butterflied chicken (yes, there are options here). Add potatoes, seasoning, garlic, onions and lemon to the pan and roast everything together. While the chicken is resting, continue roasting the potatoes until nicely browned, slightly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. That’s it. 

 

The prep is easy and the hands on time is minimal. As always, there are lots of variations and substitutes you can try. I’m not going to lie. I make this a lot because of the delicious potatoes.

All you need to complete this one pan chicken and potatoes meal is a salad and/or vegetable. Some good options that will share the oven in the final step are: roasted baby cauliflower or easy roasted bok choy and broccoli. Or try roasted honey glazed carrots, peach salad with walnut dressing or a green salad with mango salad dressing

Good to Know – FAQ

What is a spatchcock chicken?

Spatchcocking a chicken means removing the back bone and pressing the chicken flat. You will also see other names for a spatchcock chicken like flattened or butterflied chicken. The advantages are that the chicken cooks much faster (about 30-50% faster) and more evenly. And the skin gets crispier because it’s more exposed to the heat. The chicken is also much easier to cut for serving.

Should I brine the chicken before roasting it? 

If you have the time, it’s a great idea to brine a chicken because it will make the chicken more moist and flavorful. You can use a wet brine or dry brine. Kosher chickens are already brined, so if you can snag one where you live, you can skip the brining. Bon Appetit has a good article on types of brines and how to do it including 31 brine recipes . I keep it super simple with instructions in the recipe notes.  

Will there be drippings to make a gravy? 

No, most of the drippings will be soaked into the potatoes which is why they taste so darn good. You can, however, make a quick 5 minute gravy found in this roast chicken breast and gravy recipe

Tailor To Your Taste

Chicken

  • I prefer using a flattened or spatchcock chicken as it cooks quicker and I find it stays juicier than chicken pieces. You can, however, use a whole chicken or pieces if you like. Just adjust the cooking time. 
  • Brining the chicken before roasting will make it moister and juicier. If you have the time, I think it’s worth it. Instructions are in the recipe notes. Alternatively, buy a kosher chicken which is already brined. 

Potatoes

  • Yukon gold, red potatoes or baby potatoes will all work well. Just cut them about the same thickness for more even cooking. 

Vegetables

  • Add peeled and sliced carrots (1/2 inch/1.27cm thick) to the potatoes and onions. 
  • Use any onions you like – green onions, sweet onions or red onions. 

Seasoning

  • Use whatever seasoning blend you like best.
  • Try Moroccan flavors with curry powder, cumin and cinnamon for example.
  • If you don’t like lemon, feel free to skip it. 

Shortcuts

  • Buy a pre-seasoned chicken or a pre-mixed chicken rub.
  • Ask a butcher to spatchcock/flatten the chicken for you. Or buy a flattened chicken, available in most larger grocery chains. It will be a bit more expensive but save you the trouble of doing it yourself. (It’s pretty easy though)
  • Buy kosher chicken, already brined, so you don’t have to bother.

Make Ahead

  • The roast chicken and potatoes can be prepared several hours ahead and roasted when you need them. 
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge up to 3-4 days.
  • To rewarm, see instructions in the recipe notes.

Other oven roasted chicken recipes you might like

How to make roast chicken with potatoes in one pan

butterflied chicken, potatoes, lemon and zest, onions, seasoning
Ingredients: spatchcocked chicken, potatoes, onions, lemon, garlic, seasoning mixed with oil.
potatoes and onions mixed with seasoning in bowl
Mix seasoning mixture together is a small cup. Toss a quarter of it with the potatoes and onions.
uncooked chicken, potatoes and lemon in skillet
Rub the rest of the seasoning mixture over the chicken and under the skin. Place the chicken in a skillet or roasting pan and sprinkle with lemon zest. Tuck veggies, garlic and lemon slices around the chicken. Add 1/2 cup water.
roasted chicken and potatoes in skillet
Roast for 35-40 minutes. Remove chicken to rest. Cover loosely to keep warm.
roasted potatoes in skillet
While chicken is resting, put potatoes back into the oven to brown further.
cut up chicken on cutting board with bowl of potatoes
Cut chicken and serve with the potatoes and extra lemon, thyme or gravy if desired (instruction to make gravy are in the recipe)
chicken quarter leg with asparagus and potatoes on plate p
chicken quarter leg with asparagus and potatoes on plate
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Simple Roast Chicken and Potatoes

The ultimate in Friday night or Sunday dinner comfort food – roast chicken and potatoes. The chicken is moist and flavorful, but it's the potatoes that are outstanding. They absorb the juices from the chicken, lemon, onion and garlic – and taste sublime.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
resting time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (or 3 if small chicken)
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • large cast iron skillet or roasting pan

Ingredients

  • 1 spatchcock (flattened) chicken, Note 1 (about 3-4 lbs/1.36-1.8kg)
  • 1/2 onion, peeled, sliced, about 1 cup/52g (or 1/2 cup/50g chopped green onions)
  • 1.25 lbs (0.6kg) potatoes, cut into wedges, Note 2 3/4-1 inch thick (2-2.5cm)
  • 1 lemon, zested (you need lemon and zest)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) water

Seasoning

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp EACH, garlic powder, dried thyme and kosher salt
  • 2 tsp smoked or regular paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Brine (optional)

  • 4 cups cool water; 3 tablespoons kosher salt; 1 tablespoon sugar; 5 peppercorns; 1 garlic clove; and 1 teaspoon of dried herbs of your choice (simpler version: use just the water and salt)

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 425F/218C. Spray skillet or roasting pan with oil.
  • BRINE CHICKEN (OPTIONAL): Note 3
  • PREPARE CHICKEN AND POTATOES: In a small bowl, mix all seasoning ingredients. Rub 3/4 of mixture over chicken, including under the skin (gently separate skin from meat). Place chicken, skin side up, in centre of skillet (or roasting pan). Sprinkle lemon zest over chicken.
    Tuck onions, potatoes and garlic around the chicken. Use clean hands to toss with remaining seasoning mixture. Tuck slices of lemon among vegetables. Add water to bottom of pan.
  • ROAST: Roast chicken in oven for 35-45 minutes, depending on size, or until instant thermometer reads 155F-160F/71C (it will rise to 165F/73.8C with resting). Remove chicken from oven, transfer to plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm and rest for 15-20 minutes to keep juices in chicken.
  • FINISH POTATOES: While chicken is resting, stir potatoes gently, sprinkle with salt if needed, then place skillet of potatoes back into oven for 15 minutes to brown and crisp up further. If desired, make a quick gravy, Note 4.
  • SLICE AND SERVE: Cut chicken into quarters or eighths. Serve with potatoes (remove lemon slices) and optional gravy if you like. Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley.

Notes

  1. How to spatchcock a chicken: Cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove it. Then turn over the chicken and press down firmly on the breast to flatten it. Here is a video on how to spatchcock a chicken.
  2. Potatoes: Use Yukon gold, red potatoes, cut into wedges. You can also use new potatoes cut in half or quarters depending on size.  
  3. To Brine Chicken (optional): Put all brine ingredients (or just salt, sugar and water) in a ziploc sealed bag or container. Mix well to dissolve. Submerge chicken fully in liquid. Let brine in fridge for 2-5 hours in fridge. Then rinse and pat chicken dry. Bring chicken to room temperature for more even cooking. 
  4. How to make an easy gravy: I like to use full strength broth (like Campbell’s) which means you add your own water. This way I control the depth of flavor. Low salt broth is fine. If you are using homemade broth or ready-to-use broth in a box, omit the water in recipe and add an extra 1/2 cup of broth. You can also substitute broth for the sherry/wine. Instructions: Put 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a small saucepan. Heat to medium high. Add 2 tbsp chopped green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 3 tbsp flour, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. (It should be a loose paste. If too dry, add a bit more oil). Add sherry (optional) and cook another 2 minutes, stirring. Add 2 cups broth (or combination broth/water) and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh) and salt and pepper to taste. Tip: If you like your gravy darker, add a teaspoon of light soy sauce.
  5. Make Ahead
    • The chicken and potatoes can be prepared several hours ahead and roasted when you need them. 
    • Keep leftovers in the fridge up to 3-4 days.
    • To rewarm, leave chicken on at room temperature for 30 minutes if possible. Then add a tablespoon or so or water or broth to the dish and either:
      • Microwave: Rewarm the chicken in the microwave, covered, for 2-3 minutes on high (or more if needed).
      • Oven: Rewarm in a 350F/176C oven, well covered with foil until heated through, about 20 minutes. 
    • The chicken will not have a crispy skin, but should still be moist. 
    • Potatoes can be reheated separately, uncovered, in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until heated through.
 
Nutrition values include chicken, potatoes and onions, but do not include brining the chicken before roasting. Brining will not add calories, but it will increase the sodium value. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Simple Roast Chicken and Potatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 649 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 143mg48%
Sodium 743mg32%
Potassium 1099mg31%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 776IU16%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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