roast chicken and potatoes with thyme, lemon and garlic

March 23, 2015 § 56 Comments

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If you are interested in roasting a whole chicken this is the one for you.  This recipe is from Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam.  Not only is the chicken wonderfully moist and fork tender but the potatoes are similar to what you will find in a small taverna on a Greek island.  Lemon, butter, thyme, and garlic roasted along with the juices of the chicken create honest to goodness, melt in your mouth potatoes. This recipe calls for whipping cream to make a luscious sauce at the end to pour over the chicken.  We have skipped the sauce and the chicken is fabulous without. Tessa’s recipe only calls for 4 cloves of garlic but in my opinion if you don’t use at least 8 or so you’ll be competing for them at the dinner table.

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As Tessa mentions, you will have to use a roasting pan that can also be put on the stovetop to heat up the sauce.  If you don’t have anything suitable, you can transfer all the chicken juices to a small saucepan.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 organic, pasture raised chicken (about 3-1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 or 7 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 – 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup water, plus 4 to 5 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Wipe the chicken with paper towels and put breast side down in a large roasting pan.  Put a little salt, a garlic clove, 3 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leave in the cavity of the chicken.  Place the potatoes and remaining garlic around and pour the lemon juice over the top.  Rub the skin of the chicken with some of the butter and dot the rest over the potatoes.  Bury the rest of the thyme sprigs  and bay leaves under the potatoes, then sprinkle salt on the potatoes and the chicken.  Pour 1 cup of water around the edge of the pan.

Roast for about one hour or until the chicken is nicely golden, then turn it over and shuffle the potatoes around.  Spoon the pan juices over the top of the chicken and potatoes and sprinkle salt over the new top of the chicken.  Roast for about 30 more minutes, shuffling the potatoes around again halfway through without breaking them up too much, or until the chicken is deep golden and crispy and its juices run clear.  Transfer the chicken to a generous serving platter with a bit of a raised edge and arrange the potatoes around the chicken.  Keep warm.

Put the roasting pan of cooking juices over medium heat on the stovetop.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the golden bits from the sides and bottom of the pan.  If there isn’t much liquid, add 4 to 5 tablespoons of water.  Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened.  Stir the cream through and let it all bubble up, whisking so it all comes together as one.  Pour over the chicken on the platter and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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