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Roast Whole Chicken with Lemon Sauce, Potatoes + Asparagus

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
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Why we love it:

Whole roast chicken. Hands down, the best thing to cook once and reinvent. Night 1: eat the white meat with these sides. Night 2: make our Turkey Chilaquiles recipe (but obvi with this chicken, shred the dark meat), Night 3: make a chicken stock (see blog section for a recipe) and cook up your favorite soup. In the meal plan this week is a creamy turkey meatball soup but chicken soup works great too (we have that recipe if you search for it!).


  • 312 pounds Chicken, Whole (size may vary up to 4.5 pounds)
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1 head Garlic (skins remain on)
  • 2 Lemons (or just 1 is ok too)
  • 1 pound Red Skinned Potatoes
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 bunch Radish (optional)

Cooking Instructions


    Move a rack to the lower third of the oven.


    Cut the onion in half. (Reserve one of the halves for the another recipe if making one, otherwise use the whole thing here!) Cut one half into 4 or 5 wedges.

    Cut the garlic head in half through the cloves, so you get a cross-section of each clove and it remains in a cluster.

  • 3. CHICKEN

    Get a large dutch oven or casserole dish to roast the chicken. A sheet pan works in a pinch or a roasting pan.

    Place the chicken on a clear surface and pat it dry with a paper towel if it has any moisture on it. Liberally coat the chicken on both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, up to 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (to taste). Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the chicken on both sides and rub it in.

    Add the wedged onion to the pan or casserole dish. Nestle the chicken on top. Twist the small wing tips behind the body so they stay tucked in place (see photo if you need a reference). Add half of the garlic to the pan. (If you don’t have another use for the other half of the garlic, you can roast it all here).

    Dot the top of the chicken with the butter in large chunks.

    Place in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.


    While the chicken starts cooking, wash the potatoes and cut into 2” pieces.

    Wash the lemon and slice it into rounds. Pluck out any seeds with the tip of your knife.

    After 10 minutes of cooking, slide out the chicken and scatter the potatoes and lemon slices around. Use tongs to carefully life the chicken a bit so some of the potatoes fall underneath. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes.


    Trim the woody ends off the bunch, then slice each spear in half. Set aside for now.

    After the 35 total minutes have passed, slide out the chicken and scatter the asparagus around. Cook chicken for a final 5-15 minutes.

  • 6. RADISH

    Wash about half of the radishes and slice into thin rounds.


    The chicken is done with the leg registers 160 on a thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can wiggle the bone or poke it with a knife and check that it’s cooked through. This latter method is old-school and inaccurate, but if you practice you’ll get a sense of doneness. A 3.5 pound chicken should take about 45 minutes at 425.

  • 8. SLICE + SAUCE

    Remove the lemon from the pan and the garlic. Squeeze the garlic out into a bowl, and squeeze the roasted lemons too - some of the lemon will fall apart now that it's really soft, but add that too. Mash with a fork and drizzle in the rest of the olive oil to make a sauce. If it's not tangy enough, add a splash of your favorite vinegar.

    Let the chicken cool for about 5-15 minutes, then carve it.

  • 9. SERVING

    Serve family style or on plates. Garnish with radish slices.

    **SAVE THE BONES AND LEFTOVER CHICKEN MEAT (legs and thighs are great for another dish)

Check out our new features!


    you can roast the veggies in one pan and just chicken breast in another, cook for less time
    use any green veg - quartered cabbage, broccoli, green beans, peas, leafy greens
    if you have a whole bunch, use the greens too, add the to the pan to wilt during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Omit if you don't have them, they're just a nice watery crunch
    the whole chicken is easy but takes a while. Substitute chicken breast to cook in just 20 minutes.
    omit from the dish and serve over a cooked grain of choice including pasta. Or use yams or sweet potatoes
  • LEMON:
    use limes, an orange, or omit and splash 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the veggies for the sauce

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • should be a winner with most kids, the chicken is plain and can be served with veggies separate based on what they'll eat

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. You can cook the whole chicken ahead and reheat it after slicing
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