Lemon Roast Chicken with Potatoes / momskitchenhandbook.com

Sunday supper was sacred in my house growing up. It inevitably involved a roast of some sort, often accompanied by potatoes, always with a salad and vegetable on the side. Our attendance at the table wasn’t considered optional; and we didn’t want it to be since the meal was always top notch.

In my own home, we’ve maintained the tradition of sitting down together on Sunday nights, but the care and quality of that meal has slipped of late. Life and soccer games and the desire to lounge with the newspaper have interfered with more thoughtful cooking. To be honest, it wasn’t something I’d realized until I thumbed through the lovely cookbook Generous Table sent to me by chef and entertaining expert Heather Christo. The fact that Heather dedicates one of the book’s 20 menus to Sunday supper, placing it on par with the cocktail parties and holiday feasts, put it in perspective for me.

Lemon Roast Chicken with Potatoes / momskitchenhandbook.comHeather’s recipe for Greek Chicken with Potatoes is a delicious place to get reacquainted with Sunday supper. First off, nothing says family meal quite like a beautifully roasted bird. Plus, the tasty results bely how simple it is to prepare. You’ll be picking the lemon/oregano/olive oil-crisped potatoes right out of the roasting pan and popping bits of garlicky chicken into your mouth while nobody is looking.

Lemon Roast Chicken with Potatoes / momskitchenhandbook.com

You start by splitting the chicken in half right through the center. If you buy your chicken from a butcher, ask them to do this handiwork for you.

SONY DSCSeason the chicken with loads of chopped garlic, dried oregano, and lemon. A generous amount of olive oil makes magic with the flavors and textures of this meal (confession: I use half the olive oil called for in the original recipe; feel free to experiment with the full amount, if desired).

Lemon Roast Chicken with Potatoes / momskitchenhandbook.comPart of the simplicity is that it’s all done in a single pan and makes enough to feed a family of four or five. You can also double the whole business, doing it up on two sheet pans for a bigger crowd.

However, if ever, whenever you make this chicken, it will help you to remember why Sunday supper is indeed worth revisiting.


1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
3 lemons
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
11 cloves garlic, minced
8 medium white potatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Lay the chicken breast-side-down on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife or kitchen shears, cut the chicken in half along the back bone, staying as close to the bone as possible. Separate the two halves and lay them on the sheet pan.

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon onto the chicken, and rub it on the front and back of the chicken halves. Pour a little less than half of the olive oil over the chicken and rub again to evenly coat the skin. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the oregano and half the garlic over the chicken.

Put the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining olive oil, remaining garlic, remaining oregano, and the juice of the second lemon. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat the potatoes.

Arrange the potatoes on the sheet pan around the chicken. Drizzle any liquid remaining in the bowl on top.

Roast the chicken and potatoes until both are golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Carve the chicken and arrange along with the potatoes on a serving platter. Pour any extra drippings from the pan over the chicken (be sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the pan along with the sauce — those are the very best parts). Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and arrange alongside the chicken.

Adapted with permission from Heather Christo’s cookbook Generous Table (Kyle Books, 2013)


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  1. 03.10.2014 at 12:18 PM #

    Thank you so much for writing about my book Katie! This is one of my favorite recipes- I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. katiemorford
    03.10.2014 at 12:56 PM #

    Your more than welcome. This chicken is such a keeper. I love your book.

  3. 03.11.2014 at 11:15 AM #

    Okay, I am drooling over these photos Katie! I want to make Heather’s recipe for my next Sunday supper.
    Have fun at IACP.

    • katiemorford
      03.12.2014 at 8:13 AM #

      Yes, make this! It also will make your kitchen smell amazing.

      I especially appreciate your photo comment, since you are such a pro. x

  4. anniemax
    03.12.2014 at 7:09 AM #

    We make this often, but since we’re Sicilian we think it’s Sicilian chicken ;-)

    I toss the “spent” lemons with the potatoes and add quartered onions also. It is so good!

    • katiemorford
      03.12.2014 at 8:12 AM #

      Funny….I suppose Sicily and Greece have much in common in terms of climate and ingredients, so not surprising. Love the idea of roasting the lemons right in with the rest of it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 03.16.2014 at 6:24 AM #

    This looks incredible Katie! I’ll be putting it on the list for next week’s supper!

    • katiemorford
      03.18.2014 at 9:35 AM #

      If you have time to cook, that is…social media may edge out dinner prep :)

  6. Lucy D.
    03.17.2014 at 7:09 PM #

    Oh, Lordy! This was fabulous! An absolute hit in our household. Husband took leftovers to work… got a phone call of praise during lunch! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • katiemorford
      03.18.2014 at 9:34 AM #

      yay!…love that. Thanks for sharing Lucy D.

  7. Pam H.
    03.23.2014 at 4:17 PM #

    Making it tonight. Looks like a great way to kick off the week and recover from a late night last night.

    • katiemorford
      03.24.2014 at 11:39 AM #

      Oh good…hope it’s as much of a success in your house as in ours.

  8. Alison
    03.30.2014 at 10:21 AM #

    I am a big fan of Sunday dinners and this one looks fantastic. I have a bunch of fresh oregano that I want to use. Would that work? Do I just add more and add it later on in the cooking process? Thanks!

    • katiemorford
      03.30.2014 at 4:18 PM #

      I think I might be inclined to toss several whole sprigs of oregano in with the potatoes and then use a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano on the chicken. I probably wouldn’t change when to add the herbs. Good luck! I’m sure it will be delicious with the fresh oregano.

  9. Mary s
    04.27.2014 at 5:48 PM #

    Made this today -Sunday. I happened to have rainbow carrots so added six of those with the potatoes. It was beautiful and delicious. My husband kept commenting about the excellent flavor in the vegetables and the meat was very moist after baking for 75,minutes. This is a keeper!

    • katiemorford
      04.27.2014 at 10:03 PM #

      A perfect Sunday supper indeed. Love the idea of adding the carrots to the mix. Thanks for sharing!

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