We have all made (or tried) to make a roast chicken before. We don’t know about you but ours has always been lackluster. Dry breasts, soggy skin, bland to say the least. Roasting a whole bird is a right of passage to all aspiring home cooks. How can you get that bird moist and juicy, fully cooked, and with a beautifully crisp golden skin? We’re going to answer all your questions because after weeks of research we have made a chicken we are proud of.
This lemon herb roast chicken with crispy potatoes and cream sauce is literally exploding with flavor. The Chicken is marinated with lemon, herbs, and garlic. The potatoes are a little crisp and so soft in the middle and the herb cream sauce just adds a touch of decadence. Once you have the technique down this will definitely be in regular rotation on your dinner table.
Tricks For the Perfect Roast Chicken
- Brine: Brining your chicken makes it juicer and gives you crispier skin on the final roast chicken
- 2 Cooking Temps: We’re going to cook the chicken at 260°C for 15 min and then down to 175°C. This will also help ensure a faster cooking time which means less of a chance for your roast chicken to dry out.
- Drying your chicken: Using kitchen roll, pat your chicken dry as best as you can. We don’t want any moisture on the bird before applying the marinade.
- Room Temperature: Remove your chicken from the fridge 30 min to an hour before you cook it, and let it come to room temperature. This will allow the chicken to cook more efficiently.
- Salt: We can not say this enough salt salt salt. Much more thank you think there should be, almost a layer of salt on this chicken.
- Kitchen thermometer: Get a kitchen thermometer we use it all the time, it’s cheap and is in our opinion an essential kitchen tool for every home. Use a kitchen thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh of the chicken, 160°C is what we are looking for. If you do not have a thermometer, stick a knife in the same area, juices should be running clear.
- Rest: Please let chicken rest when it comes out of the oven for 10-15min. Cutting into your roast chicken without resting will allow all the juices to run out. It will still be hot when you serve it we promise.
Heres What you will need to make our Roast Chicken
To Wash or not Wash:
We’re not going to get into this too much. We are sure you are versed on this topic and people are either team wash or team not wash. Dalya does not wash her chicken Diana does. Honestly, it depends where you get it. Inspect your chicken, if there are feathers and particles and weird stuff on it go ahead and wash it. If it’s fresh ( no slime, no feathers, no particles, no smell) then don’t.
If you do wash proceed with extreme caution this is a salmonella contamination dream. You can easily spread the bacteria all over the sink, the counter, your clothes, nearby food, and you will put yourself and your family at risk. Make sure you clean all the surfaces that had contact with the packaging or the chicken. Always prep your fruits and vegetables first then proceed to the chicken. You shouldn’t run water over it, you can immerse it in a large stainless steel pot of cold water and wash it while it is submerged. Carefully dispose of the water and disinfect immediately afterward.
Brine your Chicken
Brining your chicken is always best when you have the time. It helps produce crispy skin and juicy breast meat in your roast chicken. Pat your chicken dry on both sides with some kitchen roll. Get it as dry as you can. Then liberally and we mean liberally cover it with salt on both sides. Do not be shy we are trying to pull all the moisture out of the skin. Place in the fridge uncovered overnight if you can but a couple of hours will do. Remove from the fridge 30min to an hour before your ready to cook so the chicken can come to room temperature.
Marinade for the Roast Chicken
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp thyeme
- 1/2 tbsp Finley chopped rosemary
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter
In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until well combined. We need to reserve 3 tbsp of the marinade for the potatoes and 2 tbsp to coat the pan before placeing the chicken in the oven. The rest is for coating the chicken.
Slice 400 grams of potatoes. Place in a bowl and coat with 3 tbsp of the marinade. Mix well and set aside.
Marinating the Chicken
When your chicken has come to room temperature. Again pat it dry with some paper towels. The better you do this the crispier your roast chicken skin. Into the cavity of the chicken place, half a head of garlic cut down the middle, half a lemon, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 5 sprigs of thyme. Brush the chicken with the marinade on both sides. Using your hands massage it into the chicken making sure to get it everywhere.
To Truss or not to Truss:
Trussing a chicken is optional. If you want your chicken to look nice and pretty go ahead and truss your chicken with kitchen string. We like the way Chef Steps does it, it’s a more practical way that makes much more sense. Watch it here.
We don’t usually truss a chicken for family meals, what we do is a fun trick, gather the skin near the legs make a small incision and stuff the opposite leg into it. Do the same for the other side. You can watch this video that shows it in more detail. Tuck the wings under the chicken and you are ready to go.
Cooking You Chicken
This is all about stopping the roasting process at the right time. Too soon and you’ll suffer from salmonella. Too late and you’ll be chewing dry tough chicken breast needing gulps of water to swallow it down.
Place a cast-iron pan ( a normal pan will also work) into your oven on the lower rack then proceed to preheat your oven to 260°C (500°F). Once it has come to temperature (we used an oven thermometer ours took about 40minutes). Using oven mitts carefully remove your cast iron pan and place 2 tbsp of the marinade into the center of the pan ( it should bubble). Quickly place your chicken breast side up in the center of the pan. Arrange your potatoes around it (not under the chicken), throw on more rosemary, thyme, and a couple of slices of lemon. Place into your oven. We are going to cook this for 15 minutes then turn down the temperature to 175°C and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer placed into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°C ours took an additional 50 minutes ( 65 minutes altogether). This will range depending on the size of your bird, keep checking the temperature that is the best indication. Once it reaches 160°C if it’s not browned all over, turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven then carefully remove the chicken and place on a cutting board to rest for 10-15 min. In the meantime place the potatoes back into the oven to continue to cook while the chicken rests. Remove the potatoes from the oven and place chicken back into the pan and serve. Or place in a serving platter.
Herb Cream Sauce (optional)
In a small saucepan heat up some olive oil, add rosemary, parleys, garlic, and thyme cook until fragrant, 1-2minutes. Add in 1 cup of cream then season with salt and pepper. Whisk until thickened. Serve warm with with chicken.
The Juiciest Lemon Herb Roast Chicken with Crispy Potatoes
- 1500-1800 gram chicken
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 5 sprigs thyme
- ½ head garlic chopped in half
- ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 juice of lemon
- 1 zest of lemon
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp thyme removed from the sprig
- ½ tbsp finly chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 400 grams potatoes sliced
Herb Cream Sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 tsp parsley finely chopped
Brine the Chicken
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Season liberally with salt more than what you think is enough, there should be a thin layer of salt all over the chicken. Chill uncovered in the fridge overnight or at least 2 to 3 hours in the fridge.
- When your ready to cook, let the chicken come to room temperature on your kitchen counter(30min-1hour), and then follow the direction below.
For the Marinade
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Reserve 3 tbsp for the potatoes and 2 tbsp for the pan later.
For the Potatoes
- Place your sliced potatoes in a bowl, and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the reserved marinade. Mix well and set aside.
Cooking the Chicken
- Using the lower rack of your oven place your cast iron pan into the oven and preheat the oven to 260°C (500°F)
- Pat the chicken as dry as you can again.
- Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Then add half head of garlic+ half a lemon+ rosemary+ thyme into the cavity.
- Then brush the marinade all over the chicken.
- Trussing is optional (revert to the detailed blog post on this)
- Tuck wings under the chicken
- Once your oven reaches the correct temperature ( Ours took 40min) Using oven mitts carefully remove the cast iron pan. Place 2 tbsp of the reserved marinade into the cast iron pan it should sizzle.
- Place your chicken, breast side up, and arrange the potatoes around (not under). Add on more rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs, and a couple of slices of lemon. Quickly place back into your oven. Cook for 15 min, then turn the temperature down to 175°C and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 160°C (ours took an additional 50min). If your chicken has not become golden brown all over broil for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove chicken from the pan and allow to rest for 10-15 min on a cutting board while we continue to roast the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes back into the oven and roast for 10-15 min until golden brown.
- Place chicken back into the pan and serve. Or place on your chosen serving platter.
Herb Cream Sauce
- Heat olive oil in a small pan.
- Add garlic + parsley + thyme + rosemary cook untill fregrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add in cream, and whisk until thickened.
- Remove sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
- Serve warm alongside chicken.