Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half or 1 thigh and 1 drumstick, and 1/2 cup potatoes)

This classic meal is economical and easy to prepare. Although we call for thyme, you can use any fresh herbs you have on hand—tarragon, chives, rosemary, or a mix of any of them will work in the potatoes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Grate rind from lemons to measure 2 tablespoons. Reserve lemons. Combine 5 teaspoons rind, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a small bowl.

Step 2

Remove and discard chicken giblets and neck. Loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub rind mixture under loosened skin over flesh. Tuck wing tips under chicken. Place chicken in a shallow dish; refrigerate, uncovered, 4 hours or overnight.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 4

Quarter reserved lemons. Place lemon quarters and 6 crushed garlic cloves into chicken cavity; tie ends of legs together with cord. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove chicken from oven). Bake 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

Step 5

Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Combine potatoes, 1 teaspoon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 minced garlic cloves, butter, and thyme. Discard chicken skin; carve.

Step 6

Wine note: With all the bright lemon woven through this comfort dish, you need a wine with a great squeeze of citrus at its core. Look no further than Columbia Crest's 2009 Two Vine Pinot Grigio (Washington, $8). Lemon expands to pink grapefruit and peach, with a refreshing, zesty finish--all of which make the citrus and thyme on the chicken and potatoes pop. --Sara Schneider

Ratings & Reviews

ktleyed's Review

September 30, 2013
Made just as written, but next time I'll get a larger chicken. Simply delicious and the sauce in the pan was great too - didn't even need to add anything to it, real keeper!

Nedley's Review

January 30, 2013

ahatfield's Review

August 20, 2012
I made no changes to the recipe, and thought it was just perfect. I was worried that the chicken just wouldn't be as good without the skin, but it was seasoned so well and cooked so tender that I think I may prefer it this way now. The potatoes were great too! I served it with a simple side salad.

nicolecorsi's Review

May 26, 2011
I love roasting chicken because the non-cooking folk always think it was a difficult meal to prepare. I agree with other reviewers that the simplest spices are the best. The cooking time is great, you can pop it in the oven, go outside and do some chores, and then come in to the heavenly smell!

JJ1916ohio's Review

January 21, 2011
Good, simple, easy, clean. Didn't want to dirty another pan, so I sprayed the bottom of the roasting pan with nonstick spray and then just tossed the potatoes in the stated seasoning and threw them in the pan for the last 40 minutes when the heat was turned down, making sure to stir them every fifteen minutes. I may have actually kept the chicken in longer at 425 about 30 min, but no big. My 3.4 lb chicken only stayed in about 35 min at 375 instead of 40. After pulling it out to rest, I kept the potatoes in for another 5 - 10 min just to get them completely done.

kate2004rock's Review

November 08, 2010
Cooked this for my boyfriend as a Sunday Dinner and it was delicious, and he agreed. Simple seasonings like in this recipe make for the best roasted chicken. However, who were they kidding about only 1 hr 10 minutes of oven time!?!? It took closer to two hours. But it was definitely worth it. The potatoes were excellent too, though I'd use a little less garlic on them next time. Plus a filling meal for less than 400 calories? Amazing.

Mattadri's Review

September 26, 2010
Cooking time was perfect. Skin just fell off the bone. Very delicious, the potatoes are a great complement. I marinate it for 4 hours, next time would leave it over night.