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Fragrant with lemon and garlic, this comfort supper is truly economical. A whole chicken is surprisingly easy to prepare, requires little prep yet is impressive when on the table and makes 6 servings.

If you have fewer to feed, you can save some of the chicken for other meals (try our Green Chili and Lime Chicken StewChicken and Corn Pie, or our Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken)—and use the bones to make chicken broth (see our Homemade Chicken Broth or Quick Chicken Broth), the key to economizing on your meals and maximizing your ingredients. You can remove any remaining meat from the bones and freeze it and the bones (separately) for later use.

Makes 6 Servings - $1.90 per serving Show Detailed Pricing

  • 1 whole 5-lb chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • pinches of salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 6 large sweet potatoes
  • * 2 tablespoons butter
*Optional ingredients are not counted towards pricing

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. With wet paper towel, wipe the chicken clean and pat it dry. Remove any extra chicken parts from inside the chicken and discard. Place breast-side up on a roasting pan.
  2. Slice 6-8 small strips of the yellow peel from half a lemon (the white pith is bitter), then cut small slits in the flesh of the chicken and insert the garlic cloves and lemon strips into the chicken. Save this lemon half (to squeeze over the chicken before serving). Slice the other lemon half into rounds and place them decoratively on top of the chicken; they will caramelize deliciously as the chicken cooks.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and pour about 1/4 cup water and half the oil (about half a tablespoon) into the pan to prevent the juices from burning. Place chicken in the oven. Spooning the remaining oil (another half a tablespoon) over the chicken after 30 minutes will help it brown. Roast for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is golden brown and cutting into the thickest part yields juice that runs clear. You can also test the chicken with a meat thermometer, which should read at least 165ºF.
  4. While the chicken roasts, poke holes in the skin of the sweet potatoes with a fork (to prevent a potato explosion), and place them directly on the oven rack. Bake about 40 minutes or until they feel soft to the touch or a fork can easily be inserted to the center of the potato.
  5. To serve, cut sections of the chicken and place them and a caramelized lemon slice on each plate, spoon pan juices and the juice of the remaining half lemon over the servings. Cut the potatoes open, season with salt, pepper (and butter if you like) and serve them alongside. Optional: garnish with fresh herbs or greens you may have on hand.

Review our Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes:

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nancy k. on 2/14/2018
Delicious and so easy! I made it with chicken pieces instead of whole chicken. This week I am doubling the recipe in order to deliver to a family whose mom is in the hospital, as well as to serve my own family. A quick, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious recipe for such an occasion!
Nancy K.
Rating: 5
TheFiveDollarFoodie: Thanks so much for sharing this... we are so glad you like the chicken, and hope that your friends and their mom enjoy it as well. Sending all our best -$5 Foodie team
Judy E. on 2/2/2018
I had no idea we could manage to get such a cheap meal out of buying a whole chicken! It wasn't difficult to make, either... just took a little longer to cook than the recipe suggests (our chicken took an extra 15 minutes to cook through) but was well worth it. The chicken was super juicy and the lemon and garlic was a nice touch.
Rating: 5
Jason H. on 1/22/2018
Wow, this was really good. We made this for our parents and they were really impressed. the chicken was juicy and full of flavor. I used to be intimidated by cooking a whole chicken, had never done it before... This was surprisingly easy though! Just make sure it is breast-side up, I made the mistake of having the wrong side up and it didn't work as well (too hard to insert garlic/lemon peel, and it took longer to cook). I just sliced the sweet potatoes into quarters and tossed them and a few other vegetables in the pan with the chicken and that worked great. Saved leftovers to make a soup.... please post more recipes to use with the chicken leftovers. Will make it again for sure!
Rating: 5
Jordan M. on 1/20/2018
So excited to share this super easy and awesome chicken recipe at dinner with friends!
Rating: 5
Alison F. on 1/19/2018
So simple and tasty! Plus the chicken makes a great sandwich or salad the next day. Now if I could only get my presentation to look like this photo!
Rating: 4