roman jewish chicken recipe
Photo credit Shannon Sarna

One-Pan Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes

Flavorful pollo arrosto is a timeless Roman Jewish dish.

The history of the Jews in Rome stretches back more than 2,000 uninterrupted years, making theirs the oldest community outside of ancient Judea (and predating both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi Diaspora). Through the centuries, the community has been shaped by both the creative and determined people who have lived there and vast periods of unthinkable discrimination and hardship. But out of strife grew a resilient, deeply knit community and a beguiling cuisine. The community is so long-standing that its traditions evolved alongside, and often overlapped with, Roman traditions. From a culinary perspective, it can be a challenge to untangle which dishes are prepared “alla Giudia” (Jewish style), and which are “alla Romana” (Roman style). In many cases, in fact, they are one and the same.

On an early research deep dive for this cookbook, I stumbled across a New York Times article from 1986 that described Lattanzi, an Italian restaurant located in Manhattan’s theater district with a menu that included Roman Jewish dishes.

 “As children we lived near the Ghetto,” said executive chef Paolo Lattanzi in the article, which also included mention of this classic roasted chicken dish. “We didn’t know then that we were eating Jewish food. It was Italian, Roman, the food of my city, and it was very good.”

Lattanzi is still thriving today from its perch on New York City’s historic Restaurant Row. Perfumed with garlic and rosemary and sitting atop potatoes that turn creamy and flavorful in the oven, this dish is similarly timeless. 

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen” by Leah Koenig. Published by W. W. Norton & Company; August 29, 2023.

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roman jewish chicken recipe

One-Pan Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes

A timeless, flavorful one-pan chicken and potato dish from the Roman Jewish kitchen. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 medium garlic cloves, 2 minced, and 8 smashed and peeled
  • 1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary + 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 packed tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 ½ lb/680 g), peeled, halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 lb (1.8 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs, excess fat trimmed
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine or chicken broth
  • chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Arrange the potatoes, the whole, smashed garlic cloves and the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Drizzle with about half of the olive oil-rosemary mixture and toss well with tongs or your hands to coat.
  3. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes. Brush the chicken evenly with the remaining olive oil mixture, then add the wine to the roasting pan, taking care to pour it around the chicken, not over the top.
  4. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Spoon some of the pan juices over top, gently stir the potatoes (lifting up the chicken pieces as necessary) to facilitate even cooking, and continue roasting until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is well browned and cooked through, another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley if desired.
  • Author: Leah Koenig
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Basics

13 responses to “One-Pan Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes”

  • thank you. i already have the book in the cart, from amazon. I love the this recipe for it is simple. thanks for sharing

  • I think this is a very common chicken dish recipe. My roots are in Germany and Great Britain and my husband is Middle Eastern and we both came into our relationship cooking this dish with very little differentiation.

  • Although the recipe is appealing, I have to agree with Cheryl. The recipe seems to me to be generic–what just about any cook would do with chicken and potatoes. Jewish? I’d say ‘universal’.

    • Hi Evelyn, the “whole” garlic cloves refer to the smashed garlic. We have updated the recipe for clarity, thank you for flagging this.

  • Please list portion sizes and calorie count for this dish. I am much more likely to use a recipe if I have this info. Thanks for the recipes!

  • This is a winner.

    Next time I want to make a little chicken gravy with caramelized onions to serve over it before getting to the table.

  • We usually use skinless boneless chicken si thinking of brush chicken with a honey monture and perhaps add some dried fruit and carrots or mix in sweet potatoes to pan to make it more RH-like.

    Any recommendations in cooking time for skinless boneless??

    • Hi Randi, I’d suggest checking the internal temperature of the chicken after 30 minutes while you spoon some of pan juices over it (see Direction 4), and assessing cooking time at that point. Chicken is cooked at 165°F. Note that this recipe calls for the potatoes and chicken cook for the same amount of time, and replacing the called for bone-in, skin-on chicken portions may affect this.

  • We are trying to stay away from starches, due to our diet restrictions, so I substituted artichokes for the potatoes. It was very good this way. Although I would love to be able have it with potatoes.

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