Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

A whole chicken roasted with aromatic lemon zest, fresh rosemary and garlic-infused olive oil. Baby new potatoes cook along side it with Parmesan cheese instead of lemon. They pick up a touch of lemon flavor from basting in the tasty juices that collect along the bottom of the pan.

Some swear the yeasty scent of bread baking is the best in the world. I tend to disagree because. This. This right here is way better. Rosemary, lemon and garlic mingled together with chicken is one of the most alluring aromas ever. It will make your house smell like a home. A lucky home.

After waiting the obligatory 10 minutes for the chicken to set so the juices don’t escape everywhere when you make the first cut my Mom and I descend upon it like starving wolves. We start by tearing at the crispy, fatty skin and she moves on to the wings while I start in on the white meat. To say it’s one of our favorite meals is a huge understatement. 

When looking for a whole chicken it pays to buy the best quality chicken you can afford. I like Bell & Evans. I’ve never had one turn out more juicy or more tender even when I inadvertently overcooked it. To get your money’s worth you can use the carcass to make the best chicken stock in the world.

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 whole chicken

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

A whole chicken roasted with a lemon zest, fresh rosemary and garlic-infused olive oil with baby new potatoes.


6 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced, plus 4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary plus 2 sprigs
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
the zest of 2 lemons
1 lemon, quartered
1 (approximately 4-pound) whole chicken (I like Bell & Evans)
2 pounds baby new potatoes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Put a long piece of chicken twine in a bowl of water. Remove the chicken giblets and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, minced garlic, and chopped rosemary with a dash or two each of salt and pepper.
  3. Remove half of this oil mixture to a separate small bowl. Mix the lemon zest into one of the bowls.
  4. Set the chicken breast side up in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the lemon quarters, whole garlic cloves and the rosemary sprigs inside. Tie up the chicken legs with twine and tuck the wing tips under.
  5. Rub the lemony olive oil mixture all over the chicken then sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the remaining oil and the Parmesan. Season them well with salt and pepper. Place them around the chicken in the roasting pan. Don't over crowd the pan, use another small roasting/baking sheet if they don't all fit.
  7. Roast approximately 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted between leg and thigh reads 180 degrees F. Allow the chicken to rest 10 - 15 minutes before carving.

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  1. Michele says

    Made this for dinner tonight, with yukon gold potatoes. Whipped up a quick gravy with the drippings. Looked amazing, and tasted even better. This was a big hit. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Roasted chicken… The bane of my existence. I could roast a turkey perfectly, but a tiny 4lb chicken? Yeah, fat chance. I don’t know what my problem is, I swear it’s the chickens because once in a while I’ll do something right.

    Anyway, this looks spectacular! Rosemary and lemon are always stars when I plan on failing on roasting chicken. When done right, it really is borderline perfection.

  3. says

    Reeni, this looks delicious and your description makes me hungry! I have roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving for gazillion years and I cook boneless chicken breasts several times a week but I have never roasted a chicken. I am not sure why. Maybe because I don’t usually think ahead to put dinner in the oven 11/2 hours before. I better improve in my planning if I want this beauty on our dinner table! :)

  4. says

    I think this will be a great week night meal using cut up chicken parts too. I love the whole chicken idea though, leftovers in chicken salad sound good to me!

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