Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

Thinly sliced lemons -- whether slipped beneath the skin of a chicken or scattered around it in a pan -- emit an incomparable aroma when roasted, taking on a honeyed overtone without losing any of their sassy edge.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2008


  • 2 russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 whole chicken (about 6 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12 stems of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook potatoes in simmering salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.
  2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter potatoes, garlic, 6 thyme stems, and 1/2 of the lemon slices around chicken. Dot potatoes with 1 tablespoon butter divided into small pieces.
  3. Stuff chicken cavity with 1 lemon half and 3 thyme stems. Truss chicken. Rub remaining 3 tablespoons butter on skin.
  4. With your fingers, loosen skin from chicken breasts. Push remaining lemon slices and thyme stems under skin in a single layer. Squeeze juice from remaining lemon half over chicken and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast, turning potatoes 2 or 3 times, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken thigh registers 165 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand for 15 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Cook's Notes

Grilling lemons can achieve the same effect as roasting. Thinly slice or quarter the fruit, toss with olive oil, and grill until lightly charred and softened. Squeeze over food, or serve as an edible garnish.