Authentic Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

December 4, 2013

This Family recipe for authentic roasted lemon Greek chicken and potatoes recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines tender crispy chicken and melt in your mouth garlicky potatoes, all infused with Mediterranean herbs.

Greek Roasted Lemon Chicken with potatoes

I do not know one Greek person who does not like this dish: Roasted chicken and potatoes (kotopoulo kai patates sto fourno). It is comforting, delicious and reliable. It was a typical Sunday noon dish and along with a salad and some cheese it makes up a complete meal, fit for company.

Today, chicken may seem a “lesser” dish to offer to guests, but that was not always the case years ago in Greece. Chickens were not so easy to come by, you either had your own hencoop which you occasionally “sacrificed” a chicken for a meal, but that was not very often as they would rather keep the chickens for their eggs. You also could find some live chickens at the open market, but they were not cheap as there were simply not many of them. There were no commercial chicken houses. And after you bought the chicken or took it from your backyard you had to deal with whole other process of preparing it for cooking… So not really an easy dish in the old days.

But the point is here, that farmers in Greece as well as all over the world, did not take their animals for granted, their meat was used mostly on holidays and special occasions, even the humble chicken.

Now, let’s go back to cooking. The best part of making this in my opinion, is when it is roasting, the whole house has an aroma of garlic and spices. The aroma for me just gives me memories of when we were expecting company at home, the anticipation and the preparations.

Greek Roasted Lemon Chicken with potatoes

Now everybody has their own version and secrets for this dish, and I am sharing my mom’s. Every time she makes it, the potatoes turn out crispy on the outside and the chicken moist and tasty. This dish works well as leftovers too, you just warm up or use the chicken for sandwiches or salads.

Yes, this is a meat based dish, but meat is only part of the dish. The meal is accompanied in the summer by a generous tomato and cucumber salad or by a “greek” salad and in the winter with a Greek romaine salad or a cabbage and carrot salad. Add some bread and cheese and you are all set. If you want to keep the balance, you can fill half of your plate with salad, 1/4 with chicken and 1/4 with potatoes. And while the skin is so good and crunchy, I’ll just have a taste.

Greek Roasted Lemon Chicken with potatoes

Authentic Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

But let’s talk a bit about the ingredients in here, obviously chicken and potatoes, but it is all those extra additions that make this dish healthier than a typical westernized meat and potatoes dish. First of all there is plenty of oregano on the meat and potatoes. As we know oregano has been shown to have the highest amount of antioxidants of commonly used herbs. This dish also contains garlic, another herb known for its antioxidants. Finally the olive oil also adds to the good fats and polyphenols.

The potatoes are usually peeled and cut in thick half wedges, in this case I cut them in rounds and decided to leave the skin on for some added texture.

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Authentic Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Greek Roasted Lemon Chicken with potatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
This Family recipe for authentic roasted lemon Greek chicken and potatoes recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines tender crispy chicken and garlicky potatoes, all infused with Mediterranean herbs.
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken
Servings: 4
Author: Elena Paravantes
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  • 1 ½ pound chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, legs)
  • 2 pounds potatoes cut in wedges soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 1-2 tablespoons dry oregano
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 allspice berries


  • Preheat the oven at 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius).
  • Wash the chicken with some wine if you wish and pat dry with paper towels. Rub in pepper, oregano and a bit of salt. Set aside.
  • Cut the potatoes in wedges or half wedges. Put in a large bowl.
  • Add about ½ cup olive oil to 2 pounds potatoes, the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oregano, pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well so that all the potatoes are coated with the oil.
  • Pour the potatoes in a pan, so that potatoes are all in one layer. Makes sure if you have cut them in wedges and that the tips are not pointing up as they may burn. Place the chicken in between the potatoes. Add 2-3 allspice berries, clove and the 2 garlic cloves cut in fours.
  • Add hot water in one corner of the pan and then tilt until there is enough water so that the water comes up about ⅓ of the depth of the pan. Do not pour over the potatoes as this will rinse off the olive oil. If water starts to run low, add more hot water, about ¼ cup at a time
  • Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius) and then lower at 350-375 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until potatoes and chicken are done. Potatoes are ready when they are easily pierced. Turn off the oven and the let the chicken and potatoes sit for at least 10 minutes.


If you use a whole chicken that will serve about 6 people. Stuff the chicken with the lemon peel and garlic and add some cloves to the skin.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet
Photo by Elena Paravantes © 2013 All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Patricia August 29, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    How does the chicken get crispy under foil? Do you remove the foil when you lower the oven temp.?

  • Reply nasos steryannis December 29, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    I love your writing. It is as delicious and healing as your recipes. Nase Kala!

  • Reply Betsy Kelchner October 25, 2021 at 2:56 am

    I made this dish from your cookbook. It was wonderful! I wasn’t sure about all of the oregano but was happily surprised! We couldn’t believe how delicious it tasted. I served it with cooked Kale. Thank you for the great recipes and all the info!5 stars

  • Reply simon andrew February 8, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Its nice discovery I like it5 stars

  • Reply Janice May 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Oops…..should have stated “They used to say–they ATE all of the chicken except the cackle.

  • Reply Janice May 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    My Mom was raised on a farm (US, deep South) and they also would “sacrifice” an old hen that had less egg production (those had to be boiled) or have fryers in the spring during the season for young chicks to reach the eating stage. They used to say–they all of the chicken except the cackle. Since they did manual labor on the farm, a high carb breakfast was common and they had veggies (whatever was in season) and cornbread for lunch and supper. Grandma would make gravy from anything…she used the boney parts of the chicken (back, neck, etc.) and boiled the pieces in a little water with chopped onion until she could pick it clean. So then you had chicken stock, chicken pieces, and onion in the pot, she then used a slurry to thicken the gravy (season with salt and pepper) and put that over biscuits. Nothing went to waste in that house. My husband loves this dish, but we have to limit our biscuit consumption since we do not perform manual labor. 🙂

  • Reply David B February 23, 2014 at 2:12 am

    This recipe was excellent! Thank you very much, Elena.

  • Reply jalyn January 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

    how mand people can it feed

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

      As is noted at the end of the recipe, this can serve 3-4 people.

  • Reply Virginia Karanimtsas Howard December 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This dish takes me back to my childhood and my mother’s cooking. Thank you

  • Reply ioanna pavlidis December 5, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Nase kala Elena poli oreo & poli Elliniko !!!

  • Reply Steve December 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    You don’t eat the skin? The beautiful, golden, savoury crispy skin? Αχ, βρε κοριτσάκι μου, sacrilege είν’αυτό!

  • Reply Nick Pantazis December 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Αχ βρε Έλενα!
    Μου θύμισες την μάνα μου…
    Νάσαι καλά!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Σε ευχαριστώ Nick. Αχ αυτές οι μαμάδες!

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