Roast Chicken with Lemon and Bacon-Rosemary Potatoes

British, Chicken, Gluten-Free, Main Courses / Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Jeff has a standing order for roast chicken once a week, year-round.

So I’ve roasted many, many chickens and tried every recipe under the sun – “perfect” chicken, orange chicken, slashed chicken, herbed chicken, lemon chicken, trussed and untrussed, with vegetables and without – but the first time we tasted Jamie Oliver’s Roast Chicken with Lemon and Bacon-Rosemary Potatoes, I knew I’d found The One. (Cue choir of angels.)

This chicken has a crisp skin on the outside, but it’s lemony and juicy on the inside. And those potatoes? You could make a meal off the potatoes. They’re so full of flavor. First, they’re par-boiled with garlic and lemon, then roasted with the chicken and rosemary, and finally tossed with crumbled bacon – the same bacon that cooks on top of the chicken during the last 45 minutes of roasting.

Sweet goodness. This is a MEAL.

Delicious and so incredibly satisfying.

Make it for someone you love. Then get ready to make it again.

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Bacon-Rosemary Roast Potatoes

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Dinners”

Serves 4

  • 1 4- to 4 1/2 lb. chicken
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or rosemary)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut in half (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To Prep the Chicken: Remove the giblets and liver from the chicken’s cavity. Rinse the chicken under cold water, set it in the roasting pan, and dry it well with paper towels, inside and out. Rub it inside and out with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Let the chicken rest in the roasting pan at room temperature while you prep the potatoes.
  3. To Prep the Potatoes: Bring a large pot or Dutch oven of salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting, peel the potatoes (if you haven’t already) and cut them into golf ball-sized pieces. Put them into the boiling water, along with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves. Cook for 12 minutes.
  4. Drain, and return the potatoes, garlic and lemon to the pot to steam dry for 1 minute. Transfer the lemon and garlic to a small plate. Grab a wooden spoon, and toss the potatoes in the pot, so their outsides get a little wrecked and shaggy-looking. (This will make your potatoes nice and crispy later.) Set aside.
  5. To Roast: Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Stab the lemon about 10 times, and push it into the chicken’s cavity, along with the garlic cloves and thyme (or rosemary sprigs). Add the potatoes to the pan, spreading them around the chicken. Cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a large plate, but leave the potatoes in the roasting pan. Add the rosemary leaves to the potatoes, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, toss the potatoes and rosemary with the chicken fat in the pan.
  7. Return the chicken to the center of the pan. If you’re adding the bacon, lay the slices over the chicken breast, and roast for another 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. (If you’re not using a thermometer, look for the thigh meat to pull away from the bone easily and the juices to run clear.)
  8. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bacon slices from the chicken, and crumble the bacon over the potatoes.
  9. Remove the lemon, thyme (or rosemary sprigs) and garlic from inside the chicken. Discard the lemon and herb(s). If you really love garlic, you can squeeze it out of the skin, mush it up, and rub it on the chicken or add it to the potatoes.
  10. Carve the chicken, and serve with potatoes.

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19 thoughts on “Roast Chicken with Lemon and Bacon-Rosemary Potatoes

  1. Sarah! I'm so glad you're here to testify. Don't you LOVE this chicken? I have to stop myself from picking at the potatoes while Jeff's carving it. Addictive.

      1. I agree, his chicken in milk is to die for!!! I made it a while ago and was just thinking today that I should make it again soon, check it out!

      2. The link I posted to The Kitchn has the link to the recipe on Jamie Oliver's website and some really good tips. I highly recommend his method of cooking it for an hour with the lid on, then taking it off for the last 30 mins. I didn't tell my husband what I was making, since I know he would have said "Chicken in MILK? No freaking way!" and refused to eat it. I strained the sauce at the end so that my husband wouldn't be skeeved out by the curds and he really liked it. :p

  2. I have a really dumb question, so feel free to laugh at my ignorance. :-) Do you take the skin off the lemon before putting it in with the potatoes?

    1. That's not dumb at all! Tossing in a whole lemon DOES sound kinda crazy, but that's exactly what you do.

      You boil the lemon with the potatoes, then take it out of the pot, stab it a few times, and put it into the chicken. The warmth of the lemon gives the cooking a little jump-start, and the lemon juice escapes during the roasting.

  3. This is a silly question, but do you have any tips for transferring the chicken hither and yon? I love roast chicken recipes but I always get a little stuck with the "transfer from pan to wherever" part. I have yet to find an elegant way of doing it.

  4. That looks amazing! As soon as the page loaded, my mouth started watering. Curse my status as a poor college student with a crappy kitchen…

  5. Is your husband by chance related to Ina Garten's husband Jeffrey, who requests roast chicken every Friday? Twins separated at birth? :-)

  6. I made the maple pecan pie squares you posted last year for Thanksgiving AND Christmas, but after seeing these today, I know what I'll be making this year instead!

  7. I made this chicken last night for our guests and it was such a hit! Hands down the best roast chicken I have ever made! This recipe is most definitely a keeper! Thanks!

  8. So, I have potatoes on hand that need using, but they aren't Yukon gold. They are some kind of pink-skinned little things. Are there any specific properties of yukon golds that make them ideal for this?

    1. Any smallish potatoes will work, especially new potatoes. I like Yukon gold, because they're really starchy and stay fluffy, but it's strictly a personal preference. Go with what you've got!

  9. i just made this. i saw your review weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since! it was positively yummy! It was my first roast chicken, so i don' t have a comparison, but my boyfriend, the worlds pickiest eater seemed to like it. he said the potatoes were really good — and the chicken was moist. that is about as good as it gets in his world — a meat and potatoes, no vegetables, please to don't make the food to fancy man.

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