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Roast Chicken on Bed of Potatoes (I saw Ina do it) - Help!

Awhile ago, I saw an episode of barefoot contessa where Ina roasted a chicken on top of a bed of potatoes, and talked about how yummy the potatoes would be because they soak up all of the juices from the chicken as they roast. This sounds amazing, and I'd like to try it, but I can't find the recipe or episode. Can anyone help me out by giving me a link to that episode or recipe?

If not, can you give me your own tips for roasting chicken this way? I usually roast my chicken a la Nigella - stuff half a lemon up its bum (and some herbs), smear some butter or drizzle some oil on its breast, and roast according to its weight. Yum. Should I just do the same thing with the chicken, but place a bed of potato pieces underneath the chicken?


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  1. You've got the right idea. Follow the same procedure you would with a regular roast chicken, just put the bed of potatoes under it. Other veggies that you may want to include in the bed are cut up carrots, leeks, and garlic cloves (but cook the garlic cloves in their skin and pop them out of the skin when they are done).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Megiac

      Does it matter what type of potatoes you use? Would red potatoes work?

      1. re: danhole

        I've done it with red potatoes halved or quartered depending on their size. You can leave the skins on.

    2. You've got it --- it's a rather fool proof recipe. Quarter potatoes, carrots and onions. Toss with olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper. Place seasoned chicken atop vegetables. The quartered vegetables should cook within the hour it takes to cook the chicken.

      1. I made roast chicken french style last night and may never go back to the old way again. it was easy and turned out perfect ! used a 5qt cast iron cocotte to bake it in. dry roast recipe fm CI it was lip smacking good. had a few vegs but not much else.

        1. DEFINITELY include onions! While the potatoes were good (I bet fingerlings sliced lengthwise would be particularly tasty), the last couple of times I've made roast chicken over a bed of onions and potatoes, the onions were the first to go. I would stir around the vegetables a bit while roasting, though, so that all can equally partake in the chicken fat goodness (and so that none get burnt).

          1. Thanks for all the great advice, everyone! Adding onions and garlic seems like a wonderful idea...I can't wait to try this over the holidays! :-)

            Do you think little pearl onions would work well in the bed, or should I stick with pieces of large onions?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Aloo0628

              Personally, for roasting I find red onions to be the best. When I roast a chicken whole, I usually throw some red onion, thyme and/or rosemary and lemon inside. We have a rosemary bush next to my place that grows all year long (I live in Los Angeles). I employ the same idea when I roast cut up chicken with veggies.

              1. re: bdumes

                I actually dislike roasting red onions. My preference is for Vidalias or Spanish. Pearl onions would be too small for this, I think.

                1. re: bdumes

                  I would quarter a yellow onion lengthwise, leaving the layers attached at the root end, so it's attractive when you serve it.

              2. Cooking a chicken on potatoes is amazing. Two tips, first do not trim off the fat on the bird, sorta defeats the purpose. second, make sure the potatoes are of the size that they will cook in the given time frame.

                What jfood does is use either his NS roasting pan or places a layer of Reynold No Stick foil in the pan (yes it works). Then he places the chicken on top of the potatoes (onions is also a great idea but mrs jfood does not eat cooked carrots :-(( )and cooks in a 425 for 45 minutes.If the potatoes nned a little extra time to absorb and brown, he takes the chicken out, tents some foil over it and places the potatoes back in the oven (if you have convection, now is a good time to use it). Check every 5 minutes.

                Some salt and some lipitor and you're all set.

                1. I thought the idea here was to butterfly the chicken and lay it out flat over the potatoes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yayadave

                    yup, jfood normally cuts out the backbone and butterflies along the breast bone. That way all the ickies don't come out of the backbone and onto the taters.

                    Then he takes the stuff in the little bag from the chicken plus the hacked back bone and sautees in another pan. Remove the browned pieces, make a quick roux and then make a quick gravy with the roux and chicken stock for the roasted chicken and taters.

                    1. re: jfood


                      that sounds really good. Going to have to try that! I like the gravy trick! Thanks!

                  2. I recommend the Cooks Illustrated high-roast chicken with potatoes.


                    The brining makes it better, but it's still awesome w/o the brine.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I love chicken this way-for a variaton I use lots of garlic,salt+ pepper,lemon juice,olive oil and mustard for my potatoes.
                      Blend all ingredients together and pour over potatoes'
                      Allways cook the bird coverd.,for best results grill on low for a few minutes then cover and cook.
                      Amazing results and so easy.www.hummingbirdpublications..com

                      1. Tried this tonight with fingerlings, leeks, carrots and red onion fresh this morning from the Hollywood Farmer's Market and a nice organic chicken from Trader Joe's -- 425 for 70 minutes and let it sit for another 20 minutes and it was just perfect. The leeks had turned into caramelized lusciousness. Everywhere was chicken fat goodness. I put a head of garlic sliced in half and a lemon sliced in half inside and did the butter rub on the skin. Just wonderful. My wife and kids said it was the best ever. Until the next one! :-)