Potatoes are browned in olive oil and rendered chicken fat in this simple roast chicken dish served with a bright, spicy salsa verde. Preparing the chicken up to 2 days before makes getting the dish in the oven for hands-off cooking a breeze. If you forget to salt the chicken ahead of time, don’t worry; it’ll still taste great seasoned right before going into the oven.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven heats, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature to take off the chill. Also, using a microplane, finely grate the zest from the lemon into a medium bowl; reserve the bowl. Halve the lemon and place it in the chicken’s cavity.
Add the potatoes to the skillet around the chicken (it’s fine if some are under the chicken) and drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss them to coat evenly. Drizzle the chicken with another 2 tablespoons olive oil and rub all over to ensure it’s evenly coated. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the chicken is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted where the thigh meets the body of the chicken reads 160 degrees, 50 to 60 minutes.
While the chicken roasts, make the salsa verde: On a large cutting board, combine the parsley, capers, scallions and anchovies, and chop together until the ingredients are uniformly minced. Transfer everything to the bowl with the lemon zest, then stir in the remaining 1 cup olive oil and the chile flakes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir the salsa verde to combine. Cover the bowl and reserve until ready to use.
When the chicken is ready, serve it from the skillet with the salsa verde on the side for spooning over the chicken and potatoes.
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