There are few foods I enjoy more than a classic roasted chicken — except for, possibly, potatoes cooked until crispy in the fat from that roasting chicken. With this classic one-skillet dish, the bird and the spuds cook in sync and turn richly golden in the extra-hot oven — the chicken fat trickling down to amp up the already-rich flavor of Yukon Golds. This, my friends, is true kitchen synergy.
A roasted chicken isn't the fastest weeknight meal, but it does afford our family time to reconnect at the end of the day. I can prep the bird and vegetables in five minutes and spend the next forty-five not paying dinner a second thought. Since my little ones are often at their neediest in the hour or two leading up to bedtime, being able to step out of the kitchen and really focus on them in the evening is priceless.
If you want another vegetable to round out your meal, roast it on a sheet pan on a separate rack alongside the chicken. This time of year I'm loving my chicken dinners with roasted okra, but you could throw any green vegetable in to cook alongside this special pair.
Bonus: This roasted chicken is a crucial part of several more meals throughout the week, so part of my prep for the next few dinners is already done. For this first night, we usually eat just the chicken breasts, saving the thighs and other meat from the bones for other meals.
Weeknight Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Sage
For the chicken and potatoes:
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 4-pound whole chicken
1 medium lemon, quartered
Handful fresh sage
3 teaspoons salt, divided (I like a flaky sea salt here)
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Combine the potatoes and onion in a large oven-proof skillet and toss with the oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Spread evenly over the bottom of the skillet.
Remove the neck and any giblets from the cavity of the chicken, and then stuff the lemon and sage inside. (Optional: Flip the wings under the back of the chicken, and cross and tie the legs together.) Sprinkle the chicken all over with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paying special attention to the area over the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks.
Place the chicken on top of the potatoes in the skillet, breast-side up. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. The chicken is done when it registers 165°F; continue roasting if needed.
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then carve. Serve warm with the potatoes.
- Roasted okra: If you'd like to roast some okra as a side dish, as I've done here, just toss 1 pound okra with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven to roast when the chicken is about 10 minutes away from being done. When you take the chicken out, give the okra a stir and continue roasting while the chicken rests, another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the okra is tender and browned in spots.