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Quick Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Onions, and Watercress


Using a broiler pan to bake chicken on top of vegetables makes for a simple weeknight meal.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, March 2011


  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and separated into rings
  • 1 bunch watercress (3/4 pound), thick ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in upper third. Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at thigh end, with kitchen shears, cut along one side of backbone, then the other side. (Discard backbone or freeze it for stock.) Open chicken like a book and flip it over. Press firmly on breastbone (as shown) to flatten. Rub chicken all over with 2 teaspoons oil and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Line bottom of a broiler pan with foil. Drizzle foil with 2 teaspoons oil and arrange potatoes in a single layer, turning to coat. Top with onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover vegetables with slotted top of broiler pan and place chicken, breast side up, on top. Roast until chicken is cooked through (a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh, avoiding bone, should read 165 degrees), 35 minutes. Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

  3. Toss watercress with 2 teaspoons oil and orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide potatoes and onions among 4 plates, top with watercress, and serve alongside chicken.

Cook's Notes

Butterflying a whole chicken cuts roasting time by 20 minutes.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Mary Frances
    3 FEB, 2015
    This is the Best Recipe Ever - and a total game-changer for me! I have shared this recipe (and the link to Sarah's video) with all of my work colleagues and everyone else says the same thing too. Raves all around. Thanks, Sarah ... keep those videos coming!
  • sagrariomatos
    17 MAY, 2012
    I love these videos, everyday when I see the message in my inbox it put an smile on my face. I don´t know what I like better Sarah´s personality or the recipes.
  • BeachBelle
    6 SEP, 2011
    This is so easy to make and it is delicious. Best part is only one pan and my mandolin to clean up. This is my go to after a stressfull day. I also use chicken leg quarters or a whole chicken cut up what ever is on sale.