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best roast chicken

the best roast chicken and lemony potatoes

  • Author: zenbelly
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus time to brine
  • Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
  • Total Time: 70-80 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: roast


The best roast chicken: juicy meat, crispy skin, all cooked on a bed of lemony potatoes and sweet caramelized onions


For the chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds, spatchcocked (see video above) 
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice 
    (re spices: see note) 

For the lemony potatoes

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved (or larger potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes) 
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

For serving, optional: 

  • chopped parsley or other fresh herbs
  • flaky salt
  • sumac
  • lemon wedges


One to three days before you plan on roasting the chicken:

  1. Spatchcock the chicken and and season it all over with the salt and spices.  
  2. Place the chicken on a rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet and place uncovered in the fridge. 

When you’re ready to cook the chicken:

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge and turn your oven on to 425°F. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, onion, salt, garlic powder, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread it all out on a rimmed baking sheet, making room for the chicken in the middle. (you can use the one that the chicken has been on, just remove the rack) 
  3. Place the chicken in the center, trying to keep the potatoes and onions around it, rather than under it. Rub the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the chicken. 
  4. Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until cooked through (160 in the breast, 175 in the thigh).

    If your potatoes aren’t quite tender, you can remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest and return the potatoes to the oven. 

    Either way, allow the chicken to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before carving and serving. 

  5. Garnish with chopped parsley or your favorite fresh herb, lemon slices, and additional sumac and flaky salt, if desired. 


Salt is the only real requirement here. Feel free to use whatever flavor combo you love most. I use something different almost every time, depending on my mood. I do recommend getting yourself some sumac if you don’t already have some, though. I get mine from Oaktown Spice Shop

Keywords: chicken, spatchcocked chicken, roast chicken, sheet pan