Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken Dinner

simple salt & pepper roast chicken with potatoes, carrots, fennel, and a bright gremolata topping

servings: 4

  • Author: Kayla Howey


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Meanwhile, make the gremolata by combining the minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
  4. 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.