Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken with roasted sweet potatoes is a delicious and satisfying weeknight meal that is ready in a little more than hour, with minimal prep and interaction needed. There’s something super satisfying about roasting a whole chicken and veggies at the same time. You can feed quite a few people with one chicken, or you can get multiple meals out of it for just two people.
The aroma of the chicken and thyme spreads beyond the kitchen and it reminds you a little of Thanksgiving, which will be here before we know it. It’s not even Fall yet, but we did get a few days that felt like Fall here two evenings in a row. The clouds rolled in and we felt a few drops on our head. It couldn’t really be raining. I mean, the weather had said 0% chance of rain that day. That was just a tease, because the next day the heat came back.
Back to the roast chicken. You can prep your chicken and veggies in the morning (or night before) if you have time. Then turn the oven on when you get home and your dinner will be cooked in about 45 minutes to an hour.
You can really use any root vegetables you want to roast under the chicken and they will turn out great. From carrots, to potatoes, parsnips, or anything else you might have in your pantry. The thing that makes them so amazing is they soak up the drippings from the chicken that gives them so much flavor.
I like to rub a little bit of butter all over the chicken. Not only does this promote that beautiful golden color, but it helps the thyme stick to the skin. The lemon is placed inside of the cavity, so the lemon juice will slowly drip out into the roasting pan to add a little acidity to the natural pan sauce and the roasted sweet potatoes.
I start with a really hot oven to get the skin crispy, then turn the oven down to get an even cook between the breasts and thighs. Use a good instant read thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked perfectly.
Not only do you get a few meals out of the delicious roast chicken, but one of the big benefits of using a whole chicken is you can make chicken stock out out of the leftover bones, so be sure to save them. Just add all the bones to a large pot, add chopped aromatic vegetables like carrots, onion, celery, along with herbs and a bay leaf. Cover it with water and cook for a few hours to have some delicious homemade chicken stock that you can use in soups or flavorings in lots of other dishes.
Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken
- 1 Whole Chicken , rinsed and dried
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon butter , at room temperature
- 1 lemon , halved
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 lbs sweet potato , diced into 3/4" pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees on convection if your oven has it.
Place the diced sweet potatoes at the bottom of a roasting pan, and mix with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Rub the butter all over the chicken, including under the skin and inside the cavity, along with the thyme, kosher salt & pepper.
Place the lemon halves and bay leaf inside the cavity of the chicken.
Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine.
Place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes in the roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and rotate the roasting pan promote even browning. Continue roasting for about 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving dish.
Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted sweet potatoes and a drizzle of the pan juices.
Roasting times vary based on the size of your chicken and the type of oven you are using.