Weekday Roast Chicken With Lemon and Garlic

Roasted chicken and potatoes, fragrant with garlic and lemon . . . on a weeknight? Yes! The key is to butterfly the chicken so it can lie flat on the baking sheet, which helps it roast faster. The beauty of this recipe is that it only requires a few minutes of your attention.


Makes four to six servings
Prep time: 1 hour and 20 minutes (including 50 to 60 minutes of roasting time)


  • 1 3-lb. chicken, preferably organic and free-range, butterflied
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for baking sheet, plus 1 tbs. for the potatoes and 1½ tbs. for the bird
  • 1 lb. small potatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices


Sprinkle the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt as soon as you get it home. The earlier you salt the chicken (even as far as two days in advance), the moister and more flavorful it will be.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with oil. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, the garlic, and the lemon slices. Arrange them on the center of the baking sheet and cook for five minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub all over with 1½ tablespoons olive oil.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and arrange the chicken on top of them, tucking any stray potatoes and garlic under the chicken to prevent them from burning.

Roast 40 to 45 minutes until the juices run clear when the joint between a thigh and drumstick is pricked with a knife, or when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest, and return the potatoes to the oven to crisp up, five to 10 minutes more.

Arrange the potatoes on a platter, top with the chicken, and squeeze a few of the roasted lemon slices over the dish before serving.

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