February/March 2014

One-Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Sure, this dish can be a “toss and roast” affair—if you don’t mind eating flabby-skinned chicken and greasy, undercooked potatoes.

Why This Recipe Works

To make the classic combination of chicken and potatoes weeknight-friendly, we use our everyday skillet. In order to fit 2 pounds of potatoes into the 12-inch pan, we cut them into thick rounds. Browning the potatoes first on the stovetop ensures a deeply caramelized crust, and before putting them in the oven, we place the chicken right on top of the spuds where it bastes them with flavorful juices during roasting. While the chicken rests, we cover the pan and return the potatoes to the oven to finish softening. Finally, for a traditional but not boring spin on a classic, we flavor our bird with fresh thyme, smoky paprika, and tangy lemon zest.


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Serves 4


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3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
Salt and pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, ends squared off, and sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds

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Serves 4

Use uniform, medium potatoes.

Watch the Cook's Country cast make this recipe

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1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, paprika, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and use your fingers or handle of wooden spoon to carefully separate skin from breast. Rub oil mixture all over chicken and underneath skin of breast. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wingtips behind back.

2. Toss potatoes with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Arrange potatoes, flat sides down, in single layer in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and cook potatoes, without moving them, until brown on bottom, 7 to 9 minutes (do not flip).

3. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of potatoes and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cover skillet, return potatoes to oven, and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with potatoes and lemon wedges.

TEST KITCHEN TECHNIQUE: Keys to Potatoes That Are Tender and Brown

Potatoes don’t cook at the same rate as a chicken. Here’s how we got the dish to work.

ON THE STOVE: Brown one side of the potatoes on the stovetop. Then top the spuds with the chicken and roast.

IN THE OVEN: Once the chicken is done, set it aside, cover the pan, and return it to the oven to finish cooking the potatoes.

Watch The Full Episode

Test cook Bridget Lancaster shows host Christopher Kimball how to make Skillet Roast Chicken and Potatoes at home. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges host Christopher Kimball to a tasti...