Prep Time:  15 minutes | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours


  • 2 whole chickens (about 4 pounds each), patted dry
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Big handful of fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, and rosemary
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 leeks or purple spring onions, quartered lengthwise and rinsed well
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Season the chickens inside and out with a healthy amount of salt and pepper. Stuff the chickens with the fresh herbs and lemon halves, then truss the legs with kitchen twine. Put the leeks, onions, and potatoes into a large roasting pan. Nestle the chickens over the vegetables, breast-side up, making sure the chickens do not touch each other.

3. Roast, uncovered, until the chickens are golden brown and cooked through, about 1 hour 30 minutes. When the chickens are fully cooked, the juices will run clear when the thigh meat is poked with a sharp knife and the legs will move easily when wiggled; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should read 165°F. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the chickens stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve the chicken family-style on a large platter, together with the vegetables.


To make things extra fancy, make a pan sauce: Once the chickens and vegetables are removed from the roasting pan, set the pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook until the drippings start to bubble, then pour in the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring until the pan is completely deglazed (all the brown bits are unstuck), the wine has burned off its alcohol, and the mixture resembles a sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. You can also whisk in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose or Wondra flour to make a quick gravy. Pour the pan sauce over the carved chicken and serve at once.