Delicious Greek baked chicken, a whole roasted lemon chicken on a bed of tender potatoes and carrots.
One amazing baked Greek chicken flavored with lemon and garlic and served with tender potatoes, a one-pan meal that is easier to make than you might think. Juicy on the inside and with delicious crispy skin.
Roast chicken is something I make quite often. Thighs are maybe more convenient, breasts healthier and quicker, but nothing is so impressive and festive as a whole baked chicken golden and bursting with flavor.
My family just loves it, either a simple whole roasted chicken with vegetables and potatoes on the side, a flavorful orange chicken, or something more special and seasonal like a chicken roasted over apples, for instance.
A minimum amount of work, one pan, and you can have a really special lunch or dinner on a lazy Sunday or any other day of the week, actually. The only thing you have to consider is that this particular Greek chicken needs some time to marinate, about 2-3 hours.
Should you wash chicken before cooking?
- NO! Do not wash it before you cook it; it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever as only cooking it until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 73 degrees Celsius/165 degrees Fahrenheit will guarantee that all the bacteria will be killed.
- Washing the bird in your sink will only cause this bacteria to contaminate your sink and other surfaces.
- The United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Inspection Service says: “Washing raw poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other food, utensils, and surfaces. This is called cross-contamination. Rinsing or soaking chicken does not destroy bacteria. Only cooking will destroy any bacteria that might be present on fresh chicken.”
- Mix together the grated garlic cloves, dried herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the bird all over, including the cavity. Cover with cling film and let marinate for 2-3 hours.
- I used dried oregano and rosemary to make the marinade, but you could use fresh herbs instead. Chop them finely.
- Alternatively, you can use thyme, an Italian or French dried herb mixture, or a ready-made spice mixture. I buy mine at the Turkish store; it contains more than just herbs – some paprika powder, garlic powder, chili, salt and pepper, and so on.
- You can experiment with the herbs and spices and discover your favorite combination; that's one of the best things about cooking!
Potatoes and vegetables
- Choose a roasting pan large enough to hold the potatoes and vegetables in one layer.
- Peel the potatoes into large chunks. Peel the carrots and cut them into sticks. Cut the onions into wedges. Place them into the roasting pan, pour over the olive oil, and add some more dried herbs.
- When it comes to potatoes, dried rosemary is my “default” herb, I don't even think about it anymore, I just add it... But again, use whatever you like or have in your spice cupboard.
- Add some salt and pepper, and mix well with your hands to make sure that all the veggies are coated with the oil and spices. Pour in the stock.
- Place the squeezed lemon halves inside the bird. This is the reason why I always buy organic, unwaxed lemons when baking chicken. You use the juice of the lemon for the marinade and the remaining lemon halves to stuff the bird.
- And I really do insist on you placing the empty lemon halves into the bird's cavity; it does make a difference; the lemon shells perfume it from the inside, and they make it irresistible.
- Tie the poultry legs together. You can truss it, of course, but most of the time, I don't bother... I do that mostly when cooking for guests...
- Place it on top of the vegetables and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 73 degrees Celsius/165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you have a kitchen thermometer, check the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If you don't have a thermometer, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear. (Amazon affiliate link)
- If the baked Greek chicken is not ready yet, return it to the oven and check again after about 5 more minutes. Repeat until the juices run clear, or the internal temperature is reached.
- Let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Why? Lots of juice builds up during roasting, and if you cut it immediately after taking it out of the oven, the juices will just come out of it. Letting the bird rest for a while will give those juices time to be reabsorbed into the meat.
- Serve the Greek lemon chicken with the potatoes, carrots, and onions from the pan and a green salad with vinaigrette or yogurt dressing.
What to do with leftovers?
- Reserve the carcass of the baked Greek chicken to make stock.
- And if you have some leftover meat, here are some ideas:
Inspiration: A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry. (Amazon affiliate link)
Greek Baked Chicken and Potatoes
- 1 chicken of about 3 lbs/ 1.4 kg
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary divided
- 1 lemon preferably organic and unwaxed
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 lbs lbs potatoes 1 kg
- 10.5 oz carrots 300 g
- 1 large onion
- 1 ⅓ cup chicken stock 300 ml, hot
- fine sea salt and black pepper
Marinate the chicken:
- Make marinade: Grate the garlic cloves and give them to a small bowl. Add the dried oregano and 1 teaspoon of the dried rosemary. Add the lemon juice (reserve the juiced lemon halves for stuffing the chicken). Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
- Marinate: Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper (Note 1). Rub very well with the marinade, outside and inside as well. Cover with cling film and marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before placing it in the oven, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare vegetables: Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Peel and cut the carrots into sticks. Peel and cut the onion into wedges. Place them all into a large roasting pan. Pour the remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons) on top, add the remaining rosemary (1 teaspoon), fine sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well with your hands so that the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil and spices.
- Heat the chicken stock in a small pan and pour it into the roasting pan. Pour it carefully in one corner of the pan so that the spices covering the vegetables are not washed away. Shake the pan gently to distribute the stock all over the pan.
- Tie chicken: Place the squeezed lemon halves into the chicken's cavity. Tie the legs of the chicken and place the chicken on top of the veggies.
- Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit/ 73 degrees Celsius.
- Check: If you have a kitchen thermometer, check the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If you don't have a thermometer, pierce the chicken with a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh, the juices should run clear.If the chicken is not ready yet, return it to the oven and check again after about 5 more minutes. Repeat until the juices run clear or the internal temperature is reached.
- Rest the chicken for about 15 minutes before carving (Note 2).
- Don't wash the chicken before cooking. Washing the bird in your sink will only cause this bacteria to contaminate your sink and other surfaces.
- Reserve the carcass of the chicken to make stock.