1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt), for brine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 whole chicken , 3 1/2 to 4 lbs, preferably free-range or other high-quality chicken such as Bell and Evans, giblets removed and reserved for another use, fat around cavity removed and discarded
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (4 to 5 medium), or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
Vegetable cooking spray (nonstick)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon table salt (for potatoes)
Ground black pepper
1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Remove chicken from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Following illustrations 1 through 6, butterfly chicken, flatten breastbone, apply flavored butter (if using), and position chicken on broiler pan rack; thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Spread potatoes in even layer in foil-lined broiler pan bottom. Place broiler pan rack with chicken on top. Rub chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with pepper.
3. Roast chicken until spotty brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue to roast until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees in thickest part of breast, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board. With potholders, remove broiler pan rack; soak up excess grease from potatoes with several sheets paper towels. Remove foil liner with potatoes from broiler pan bottom and invert foil and potatoes onto cookie sheet or second cutting board. Carefully peel back foil, using a metal spatula to help scrape potatoes off foil as needed. With additional paper towels, pat off remaining grease. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with potatoes.Posted by dahl at January 15, 2007 10:58 PM