Everyone needs a good roast chicken recipe in their back pocket, and this salt & pepper roast chicken dinner is that classic dish that you’ll go to time and time again. It’s the perfect complete dinner made in just about an hour or so. Golden, juicy roast chicken with roasted potatoes, carrots, fennel, and shallots alongside. Served with a bright gremolata topping and a good drizzle of olive oil.
I actually don’t roast a whole chicken too often, but I’ve always loved the idea of a good roast chicken dinner. One that comes together effortlessly, with most of the work being done in the oven, is made on one sheet pan, and is simply delicious. In a way that isn’t over the top, just classic flavors and ingredients prepared really well.
That’s exactly how I’d describe this recipe. And let’s just say, I will now be making it very, very often. It’s a great family dinner, doubles as a stunning entertaining recipe, and honestly works even if you’re just cooking for yourself and want a week of roast chicken leftovers.
salt & pepper roast chicken dinner – the details
You’ll want to start with a trussed chicken (which you can ask your butcher to do for you). Softened butter gets slathered onto the chicken with LOTS of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This is definitely not a time for the pre-ground stuff. Pull out your pepper mill and grind whole peppercorns. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.
The chicken starts off roasting at a high temperature for 20 minutes. Then, you’ll load up the sheet pan with your potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. A good drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt & pepper are all they need. Everything roasts together for about 40 minutes longer. The chicken becomes golden with a crackling skin, and the vegetables become just tender and caramelized.
It’s really as simple as that, with a “gremolata” bringing it all together (a flavorful mix of parsley, lemon, and garlic). It’s the perfect bright topping to contrast the hearty meal. Maybe serve up a strawberry galette for dessert, and I’d say you’ve got yourself a very lovely springtime dinner.Print
Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken Dinner
simple salt & pepper roast chicken with potatoes, carrots, fennel, and a bright gremolata topping
- 3 ½ lb whole chicken, trussed + pat dry
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 40 cracks black peppercorns
- 1 ½ lb yukon gold potatoes, quartered
- 1 bunch mixed carrots, quartered lengthwise (approx. ¾ lb)
- 1 fennel bulb, wedged into eighths
- 1 shallot, sliced ½”
- olive oil
- 1 cup packed parsley leaves, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 lemons, zested
- Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken onto a half sheet pan on top of a drizzle of olive oil so it doesn’t stick. Spread the softened butter all over the skin. Season with the salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Lower the heat to 400°F. Arrange the potatoes, carrots, fennel, and shallots in a flat layer around the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Continue to roast for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (it should read an internal temperature of 165°F).
- Meanwhile, make the gremolata by combining the minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- When the chicken is done, remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes, vegetables, and gremolata alongside. Drizzle everything with more olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
During the last 20 or so minutes of cooking, check on the chicken. If it’s getting too dark on top, nestle a piece of aluminum foil on top of the chicken to prevent it from burning. You don’t want to completely cover the chicken or you’ll lose the progress on it’s crispy skin. Instead, gently place a folded piece of foil to just cover the darkened top of the chicken and continue roasting.