Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
4 servings (serving size: 4 ounces chicken, about 1/4 cup gravy, and 1 cup potatoes)

An hour and a half of (mostly hands-off) cooking time yields a Sunday classic.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare chicken, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add lemon to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan; cool.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 3

Remove and discard giblets from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub salt mixture under loosened skin. Insert lemon slices in a single layer under loosened skin. Place rosemary inside body cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place chicken on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Place garlic head in pan.

Step 4

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove chicken from oven); bake an additional 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Remove skin; discard. Loosely cover chicken; keep warm.

Step 5

Remove garlic from pan; set aside. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings back into pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Step 6

Separate garlic cloves; squeeze to extract pulp. Place pan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic pulp, wine, and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thick. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

Step 7

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir until combined. Serve chicken with gravy and potatoes.

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Ratings & Reviews

Webgirl's Review

January 01, 2013
This was a delicious recipe! The chicken came out really juicy. Also tried the white potatoes for the first time and they were great mashed. Definitely going to make this again. Yum.

zippykaz's Review

January 30, 2010
This was a terrible recipe. I love Cooking Light and trust it, so I was very disappointed. The chicken came out ok (I left the skin on until right before serving), but the potatoes were sticky and flavorless (and took much longer to cook than stated). The jus was too runny and also strangely flavored. I should have just made my own gravy and sides! I will not make this again.

love2coooook's Review

October 25, 2009
Ok, I'm totally confused as to why people have overwhelmingly rated this recipe so poorly. Tonight was the second time I have made it and everyone has loved it both times! The only adjustments I made were that I didn't wait for the fat to rise to the top and I added cornstarch to thicken the gravy which is sweet and delicious as flavored by the lemon and white wine, although, i looove lemon. Also, I didn't have fresh chives on hand, so I used herbs de provence in the potatoes and enjoyed the addition of the vinegar, but again I am a huge vinegar fan. Will definately make again.

LisaKinFredVA's Review

July 20, 2009
OK...for starters let me say that I did not make the potatoes (went the steam and mash route to save time) so this review is solely for the chicken. Based on the input from other reviewers, I made some modifications. Instead of leaving the lemon slices under the skin, I rubbed them under the skin and then put them in the cavity with the rosemary. This lent a nice lemony flavor to the chicken without it being overwhelming. I also rubbed the chicken with olive oil (spraying it with Pam just seemed wrong). I left the skin on while it was resting so it wouldn’t dry out (seriously, Cooking Light...shame on you!) and removed prior to eating. As for the jus, I added a tablespoon of corn starch in with the wine/broth (only used a cup of broth, though) and reduced for 10 minutes and it was excellent. The whole family loved it, but at best I can only give it three stars due to the modifications made.

nola0107's Review

June 26, 2009
I'm so glad to know I wasn't the only one puzzling over this recipe. The chicken itself turned out ok-too lemony in parts and tasteless in others but moist. My chicken, for some reason, put out a scant amount of drippings which made it difficult to make the jus. I had to add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it and less white wine and chicken broth since I had hardly any drippings. My garlic came out over-roasted and was kind of gummy and didn't mix in with the jus. The potatoes were NOT GOOD. The vinegar/olive oil taste was not pleasing. Thankfully the jus covered that up well enough. My husband actually liked the dish-maybe because he didn't have to work at it as the cook to make it passable. Without his thumbs up, I would have given it one star. Regardless, I will not be making this again.

mfitzpa's Review

June 25, 2009
Okay, hmmm...the author of this recipe has never actually made this dish. The previous reviewer had problems because, well, there are some massive problems with this recipe. You will never have smashable potatoes if you merely simmer them for 20 minutes - you need to boil them full on for 20 and then go from there. Do not use vinegar in your potatoes! Vinegar + Starch = disaster. Do not pour hot drippings through a makeshift plastic-bag strainer! Just pour them into a glass container and wait and wait and wait until the fat layer forms - and then scrape it off with a metal spoon. This will take light years, so you might want to skip it and just add a half cube of boullion to your jus liquids to replace the juices (or strain and add the "real deal" to make an excellent gravy). You will not get a "thick" gravy/jus from boiling the liquids for 10 minutes. That is just silly! Either reduce the sauce properly, or (if you don't have the time), add a slurry made with 1TB of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of cream/milk (eyeball it) to the liquids once it's boiled for several minutes. Then simmer until it thickens. The jus also needs a liberal dose of pepper to tame the heavy garlic-iness. Don't discard the skin! Just don't eat it if you're counting calories. The skin keeps the chicken moist if you don't eat all of it immediately. Whew! On a positive note - there are some good ideas here. The Garlic Jus is a nice starting point. But, don't follow this recipe directly, and don't follow it at all if you are a novice cook.

Mleigh's Review

June 15, 2009
This was a disaster on every front. I'm not sure what I did wrong. I didn't care for the strong lemon flavor. I couldn't get the gravy to thicken. The smashed new potatoes were gummy and the extra-virgin olive oil was too overpowering. I think I'll be going back to my usual roast chicken, mashed potato, and gravy recipes!

LisaHeffner's Review

June 04, 2009
This chicken was awesome. I love to cook but had never actually roasted a whole chicken before and it came out wonderfully moist and flavorful. I was a little anxious about only cooking the chicken to 165 deg so I went ahead and let it go to 180 deg and it was perfect. I'm glad I did because the temperature of the meat hardly rose at all after I removed it from the oven. I also decided to coat the chicken with olive oil instead of cooking spray before I feared that the spray would give it a chemical taste. The gravy was especially tasty.