Roast chicken is easy to make but requires patience in preparation and cooking time. This recipe is perfect for any time of the year and suits a wide range of sides and seasonal vegetables. The butter keeps the meat moist and flavored throughout the entire cooking process to provide a succulent and juicy chicken. Also, the chicken drippings make the potatoes underneath extra flavorful. Best of all, it's a perfect go-to one-pan dish for easy entertaining or a weekday family dinner.
Preheat the oven to 475° and position an oven rack in the center.
Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon zest, garlic and sage, mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
Using your fingers and a small paring knife, gently loosen the skin of the chicken from the breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear the skin. Slip the butter mixture between the skin and flesh, spreading it evenly. Rub the skin with olive oil and season the skin and cavity with salt and pepper. Quarter the lemon and stuff the cavity of the chicken. Tie the chicken legs with twine and set aside.
Place the potatoes in a roasting pan. Place the chicken over the potatoes and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400°. Continue to roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, the thigh (without touching the bone) reads 165°, about 50 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board with a well and let rest for 10 minutes. To serve, carve the chicken into four pieces and arrange them on a platter with the potatoes.