The Perfect Roast Chicken

One quick trick that will transform your bird.

A few years ago I put a thick slice of sturdy bread under a chicken and put both in the oven. As the chicken roasted, its juices rendered onto the bread and made the most delicious chicken-y toast I’ve ever had.

Ever since, I’ve been sliding all kinds of ingredients under my chickens before they go for a hot tan at 375°F. Sweet potatoes have become one of my favorites, because of the way they react to the treatment and because they’re available year-round. The rounds of potato right under the chicken soften and take on a meaty richness rarely associated with this root. And the potatoes surrounding the bird crisp up in the bird’s fat and remind me a little of its roasted skin. It’s all kind of exciting, especially given the ease of preparation—the whole thing takes five minutes, max, to put together. 

When roasting chicken, a temperature probe really has the potential to change the quality of what you cook because it takes the guesswork out of cooking protein to the proper temperature. 


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Our Perfect Taste™ Temp Probe alerts you when your roast reaches perfection.

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Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato Rounds

"Add a simple green salad, and in 45 minutes you’ve got a well-rounded, home-cooked meal." - Vivian Howard

Servings: 4



1 young chicken, about 3 pounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons salt

20 turns of the black pepper mill, or 1 teaspoon

1 lemon, halved

1 small handful fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or sage

1 large sweet potato


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse chicken and remove any of the innards stashed in the cavity of the bird. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Rub the chicken inside and out with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and season thoroughly with 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and all the pepper. Stuff half the lemon and the some of the herbs inside the cavity of the bird.

When your bird is ready to go in the oven, simply insert the temperature probe into the thickest part of your meat and set the probe temperature on your oven to 165°F (for chicken).

Slice sweet potato into ¾-inch rounds. Toss rounds in additional olive and salt. In a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet or similarly sized baking vessel, arrange sweet potato rounds so that the bottom of the skillet is covered, but none of the sweet potatoes are overlapping. Lay the additional herbs on top of the potatoes. Truss the chicken if you wish, and position it on top of the sweet potato rounds, breast-side up. Slide skillet onto the middle rack of the oven and roast for 1 hour.

Once your temperature probe indicates 165°F, bring the bird out of the oven and squeeze the remaining lemon half over top. Serve the chicken warm with the sweet potatoes.

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