Roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes (Κοτόπουλο λεμονάτο με πατάτες)

The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

Pssst…want to know a secret?  We were really apprehensive about tackling this meal. You see, our parents’ chicken and potatoes are epic. They get requests from all over the world lots of people for their recipe and they are really happy to tell anyone who asks, including us,  how it’s done. They say something along the lines of ‘take a chicken, add some potatoes to the roasting pan, pour in some lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and bake it all for a few hours’. Easy, right?  So, we try, and it tastes good…but not phenomenal. Not mind-blowing delicious, like theirs is. Not let-me-tell-anyone-who-will-listen scrumptious, like theirs is. Not taste-bud-shockingly fabulous, like theirs is.  “Why?”, we wondered. We did what they told us to, so how to explain the difference between their phenomenal chicken and potatoes, and our pretty good chicken and potatoes? For a while we actually started to wonder if perhaps our parents were magic. Magic would explain everything! But then we watched them in action, took detailed notes, measured and counted, studied their every step and finally we were able to reproduce their roasted chicken and Greek potatoes ourselves, in our very own kitchens! Hourray!  We were once again amazed that such simple ingredients could produce something so marvellous…and so we thought, maybe magic is hereditary!?

We’re really looking forward to you trying this recipe for yourselves. Let us know if you end up with what may be the best roasted chicken and Greek potatoes you have ever had.

The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

Helpful hints:

How to make the best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes

Once again the basic ingredients in this recipe are just that – basic.  Therefore, one key to success is to use the highest quality products you can get your hands on.  That means an organic, farm-raised chicken, excellent Greek olive oil, fresh lemons and good quality potatoes.


Our parents are wise and don’t wash their chicken before cooking it.  You should listen to our parents. If you still need some convincing as to why you should never wash raw poultry read this (and watch the short video…it’s cute, and horrifying).

We’re not quite sure if the roasting pan that our parents (and we) use for this meal impacts the flavour at all, but it might.  This recipe was made using a round metal roasting pan, kept uncovered at all times.


Some of the techniques used by our parents would probably not receive a celebrity-chef stamp of approval.  For example, they flip their chicken over part way through the cooking process. Having read many, many cookbooks and watched many, many cooking shows, we are pretty sure this is unusual.  But that’s the way they do it, so that’s the way we have described it.


If you are the one serving this meal keep in mind that the slightly burnt, stuck-to-the-sides-of-the-pan potatoes are usually the most delicious.  Give those to your favourite child, or save them for yourself…we won’t tell.

One of the most common concerns people have when roasting a whole chicken is making sure that it is fully, and safely, cooked.  There are a couple of ways to ensure that your chicken is safe to eat. The most reliable way is to use a meat thermometer and to insert it into the thickest part of the meat (being careful not to hit bone).  Whole chicken is done when, at the thickest part of breast or thigh it has reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (or 82 degrees Celsius). If you don’t have a meat thermometer (Christmas is coming…time to update your list) pierce the chicken near the thigh.  The juices should run clear and not be pink-tinged or bloody. For more information about chicken cooking times, you can consult the poultry safety information posted on the Government of Canada’s website (link here).

If you’re looking for more recipes to love, check these out:

Youvetsi with chicken
Roasted chicken thighs
Chicken kokkinisto with French fries
Pork roast with Greek lemon potatoes

The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.
The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

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The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

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The best roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes full of lemon flavour and roasted to perfection.

Roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes

The best Greek style roast chicken and roasted lemon potatoes!
5 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • Roasting pan


For the potatoes

  • 10-12 medium yellow fleshed potatoes peeled and cut into quarter wedges
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Greek dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups combination of olive oil and vegetable oil we use 3/4 cup (180 mL) olive oil; and 3/4 cup (180mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot peeled, and cut into chunks

For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


For the potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the potatoes, lemon juice, greek oregano, pepper, salt, and oils. Mix well to coat the potatoes evenly.
    1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp Greek dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups combination of olive oil and vegetable oil, 10-12 medium yellow fleshed potatoes
  • Pour the potatoes and all of the oil/lemon juice mixture into a large metal roasting pan, keeping potatoes on the periphery (you will place the chicken in the center of the pan).
  • Scatter carrot chunks on top of potatoes.
    1 medium carrot

For the chicken:

  • Remove any excess fat or loose skin from the chicken and discard.
    1 whole chicken
  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon all over chicken.
    1/2 lemon
  • Salt the chicken on all sides, and inside the cavity.
    1 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkle the greek oregano and pepper on all sides of the chicken.
    1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Place chicken, breast side up, in the center of the roasting pan (surrounded by the potatoes and carrots).
  • Place roasting pan in lower rack of oven.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove roasting pan from oven, carefully stir the potatoes around (if some of them have stuck to the sides of the pan, don’t worry. Those crisp, browned pieces are delicious). If you notice that your pan seems a bit dry, add some more oil (you can use olive or canola oil) to the pan.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon paprika over chicken and potatoes. Turn chicken over and baste the potatoes from the juices from the pan.  Return the pan to oven, breast side down. Continue baking for an additional 30 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius). The potatoes will be done at this point as well, golden and slightly crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.
    1 teaspoon paprika
  • Enjoy!


We use a 15 inch round roasting pan, use less oil if your pan is smaller.

Thanks for sharing!


  1. Wonderful recipe and so well explained. I totally agree with the ‘slightly burnt, stuck-to-the-sides-of-the-pan potatoes’ being so good! I`m a vegetarian (the rest of the family is not) but I will help myself to those potatoes!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Those potatoes are what dreams are made of! 🙂 Thanks for you lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed the post Annika 🙂

      1. This looks delicious! Do you roast it at 400 for the whole 2 1/2 hours? With no water? I find when I make chicken or potatoes the pan always gets dry or the potatoes stick to the pan and I end up adding water. I’m willing to try this method though!

      2. miakouppa says:

        Yes we do! And NO water 🙂 There is plenty of oil in here which may scare some people off…but don’t let it! The oil helps the chicken and potatoes roast – most is left behind in the pan 🙂 Hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

  2. Would you let me know the size of the round pan?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Suzanne! Thank you so much for stopping by. The roasting pan we used here is a round metal one and it is about 14 inches in diameter.

  3. In the first picture of the potatoes it looks as though they’re being soaked in water…is that right? Or maybe I’m just seeing things!😉

    1. miakouppa says:

      Your eyes are perfect!! The potatoes are in fact soaking in water; something that our parents tend to do when they cook potatoes and we have learned from them. Soaking potatoes in water helps remove some of the starch, which could help you get crispier potatoes if you are frying them. In this recipe, with the roasted potatoes, it probably doesn’t make much of a difference (especially because here they are in water more to “wash” them than to remove the starch) so you can certainly skip this step. Hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great day!

  4. Crystal Lazo says:

    Hi! I have an oval 13″ Le Creuset dutch oven, can this be used instead of the round roasting pan used in your recipe?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Crystal. Yes, that should work fine; keep your dutch oven uncovered, and try not too crowd your potatoes too much (you may need to use fewer than we state in the recipe). Good luck and let us know how your meal works out 🙂 🙂

  5. I love this dish and ate it a lot at a local Greek owned restaurant growing up, but can never seem to replicate that exquisite flavor at home. I can’t wait to try this!! One question though, I’m all in, but two hours at 400 seems like a long time, typically what size chicken do you use?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Angela!! Love that you are willing to give our recipe a try. We tend to use an average size chicken (about 3 – 4 pounds). It does seem like a long time, but trust us – you need this time to produce the best potatoes and the chicken does not dry out. If you follow the directions exactly, we think (hope) that you will be pleased! Let us know what you think!

  6. Best chicken I’ve ever made. My family asks me to make it regularly…..Delicious and so easy.

    1. miakouppa says:

      Yay!!! We’re so happy to hear that Lise! Thank you so much for letting us know 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

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