Perfect Roast Chicken with Potato Cakes

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds (you can also do this with bone-in skin-on pieces)

1 lemon, halved, plus lemon wedges, for serving

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Potato Cakes:

2 potatoes, peeled and shredded (I'm using sweet)

2 large eggs, beaten

1 small onion, grated (I'm using red)

1 teaspoon your favorite spice mix (I'm using Old Bay)

1 teaspoon paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil, for the pan, if necessary


  1. For the chicken: Place a heavy-bottomed pan in the oven (I prefer cast iron) and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the lemon halves and season liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil. 
  3. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, arrange the chicken in it breast-side up and place the pan on the middle rack. Roast until the thickest part of the chicken measures 160 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving. 
  4. For the potato cakes: While the chicken is cooking, thoroughly mix together the sweet potatoes, eggs, onion, Old Bay and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 6 patties. 
  5. While the chicken is resting, place the pan it was cooked in over medium-high heat with the rendered chicken fat. Working in batches and adding more oil if necessary, cook the patties, flattening them slightly with a spatula, until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes per side. 
  6. Serve the sweet potato cakes with the chicken and some lemon wedges on the side.

Cook’s Note

For more ingredient substitution ideas, see the article below.