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Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes

Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes

by Tim Granzeau


If you prefer not to brine, use a kosher chicken - it is salted and has a taste and texture similar to a brined bird. For extracrisp skin, after applying the flavored butter (if using -- see related recipes), let the chicken dry uncovered in the refrigerator 8 to 24 hours. Russet potatoes have the best potato flavor, but Yukon Golds have beautiful color and better retain their shape after cooking. Either works well in this recipe. A food processor makes quick and easy work of slicing the potatoes.

Serves 4


cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt), for brine 


cup granulated sugar  


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  


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.

STEP BY STEP: Preparing to Roast 

1. Cut through bones on either side of backbone, then remove and discard backbone. 

2. Flip chicken over as shown and use the heel of your hand to flatten breastbone.

3. If using a compound butter, slip your fingers between skin and breast, loosening the membrane.

4. Scoop some of the butter onto a spoon, slide it under breast skin, and push off with your fingers. 

5. Work butter under skin to cover breast evenly. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with each drumstick and thigh. 

6. Transfer to broiling rack and push legs up to rest between thighs and the breast.