Lemon & rosemary roast chicken with crispy potatoes

Lemon & rosemary roast chicken with crispy potatoes

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(12 ratings)

Ready in just under 2 hours


Serves 4
This recipe's a messy job, but the pay-off is fragrant meat deliciously infused with citrus herb flavours

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1041
  • fat50g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs86g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre7g
  • protein67g
  • salt4.79g
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  • 2kg floury potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 extra large fresh chicken, around 2.7kg/6lb



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 6 sprigs rosemary, plus extra for garnish



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 400ml fresh chicken stock (buy two 300ml tubs and use the rest for the lettuce)


  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cut the potatoes into 2 mouthful-sized chunks and put in a large pan of salted water. Bring to the boil, cook for 5 mins, then drain. Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a really large, sturdy roasting tin and heat for 5 mins. Tip the potatoes in and cook for 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, peel the zest from the lemon (a vegetable peeler is great for this) and slice it finely. Mix it with the sea salt. Place the chicken on a board with the legs pointing towards you, and undo any string tied around. Lift up the skin around the cavity and work your fingers under the skin over the breast and legs, easing it away from the flesh. Push the salty shreds of lemon rind under the skin, spreading it as evenly as possible, followed by four sprigs of rosemary, one on each leg and one on each breast. Then put one sprig inside the bird along with the peeled lemon.

  3. Take the tin out of the oven, give the potatoes a good shake, and then arrange them so you can fit a rack over the roasting tin. Then place the chicken upside down on the rack and roast for 20 mins. Turn the chicken over and turn potatoes, coating them in the fat that's run off the bird. Return to the oven and roast for another 20 mins, then turn the potatoes again and cook for another 20-30 mins, until the chicken juices run clear.

  4. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and put the chicken on a serving platter, covering it with foil to keep it warm. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Meanwhile, scoop the potatoes into an ovenproof dish and return to the oven to finish crisping up. Pour away the fat from the roasting tin, then put the tin on the hob over a low to medium heat. Add half the stock, then bring to simmering point, stirring and scraping up the brown residue. Boil, reducing until darker and syrupy. Add the rest of the stock, and bring to simmering point again, bubbling to reduce it. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour through a sieve into a warmed gravy jug.

  5. Pile the potatoes around the chicken, and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs. Serve with gravy and braised lettuce.

  6. Freezing: Freeze the chicken at the end of step 2, for up to a month. Defrost thoroughly before continuing with the recipe.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Feb, 2018
The lemon and salt under the skin makes the chicken extra tasty. I didn't have rosemary so used mixed herbs - lovely.
snakeyfly's picture
6th Dec, 2014
Oh my goodness, this was simply divine! I added a couple of cloves of chopped garlic to the lemon rind and salt and cooked for longer at a lower temperature and it was perfect. Make sure you keep the potatoes large or keep checking them as they may be done before the chicken. I teamed this with the pea recipe and it was a great hit - can't wait to do it again!
L Huish
19th Mar, 2014
This is ridiculously easy and tasty!! All true about extra lemon, we have never had such yummy crispy potatoes. Now this is the bench mark for roast chicken in our house. Tried Jamie Olivers but this is easier to follow and way tasty. :)
18th Oct, 2011
VEEEEEERY TASTY ... I agree with adding 1 more lemon, it gave a really nice taste. I added carrots, onions and unpeeled garlic cloves. I stuffed the chicken with onion & garlic too, beside the lemon. Lovely :))
4th Apr, 2011
It was delicious and succulent! It went really well with honey glazed roast carrots and the peas, bacon and cabbage receipe from goodfood.
23rd Nov, 2010
i used a veg rack of carrots and onions and some lemon wedges for the gravy, took out the lemon at the end and mushed all carrots and onions together then added stock, delicious! I have also tried with a slice of lemon pushed under the skin instead of the zest and worked really well.
5th May, 2010
Oooooh yum! Whoever figured out that lemon & chicken works so well together is a genius! I tried Jamie Oliver's version and also find that less salt is better for this. Also gave the bird a good rub all over with some olive oil before roasting. Try boiling the lemons with your spuds, them piercing them all over and stuffing them into the cavity. Great dish!
13th Sep, 2009
Hi. I dont understand the timings for this dish, for a chicken weighing 2.7kg it should be cooked for at least 2 hours, with this recipe the chicken is cooked for only 1 hour 10 mins max?
Shel Smith's picture
Shel Smith
2nd Apr, 2020
I notice that you dont get replies
30th Aug, 2009
Used rind of 2 lemons and found less salt worked better. Absolutely delicious.


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