Fennel- and Cinnamon-Rubbed Roast Chicken and Lemons With Potato Wedges Recipe

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Fennel- and Cinnamon-Rubbed Roast Chicken and Lemons With Potato Wedges Recipe

Roast chicken, rubbed with a warm spices like fennel, chili, and cinnamon, and roasted with lemons and potatoes. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Easy enough for a weeknight dinner but impressive enough to serve guests, this fennel, chili, and cinnamon-rubbed chicken—inspired by a Michael Chiarello spice rub—is roasted with lemon and potatoes for a delicious one-dish dinner.

Why this recipe works:

  • This heady blend of warming, fragrant spices play off of one another beautifully and works with a variety of meats.
  • Cooking the potatoes in the meat juices allows them to soak up the favor and get crispy along the way.
  • Finishing the dish with roasted lemon lends brightness and makes flavors pop.

Note: Feel free to double or triple the spice mixture. Just store it in an airtight container for up to three months in a cool, dark place.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:2 hours


  • 1/4 cup whole fennel seeds, toasted until fragrant
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted until fragrant
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, toasted until fragrant
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (5-pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 6 medium red-skin potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. 2.

    Using spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in cinnamon, salt, cayenne, allspice, and ancho chile powder.

  3. 3.

    Set chicken in a roasting pan and rub all over with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and a liberal amount of spice mixture. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and spice rub, then arrange in pan around chicken. Roast chicken, basting chicken and potatoes occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add lemon halves to roasting pan, and continue to cook chicken, basting occasionally, until thickest part of breast close to bone registers 150°F on an instant-read thermometer and joint between thighs and body registers at least 170°F, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest 15 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Meanwhile, skim fat from juices in roasting pan. Set pan on stove top over medium-high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Swirl in butter and season with salt.

  5. 5.

    Carve chicken and serve with potatoes, pan gravy, and roasted lemon halves, for squeezing on chicken.