I’m pretty sure this oven roast chicken recipe will fast become a favorite. The skin is super crispy while the chicken remains deliciously moist. And as an added treat, the potatoes explode with flavor because they are basted* in schmaltz (chicken fat) throughout the cooking time. And after you make it the first time – it will become a snap to make!
I learned how to make this high heat chicken recipe from Cooks Illustrated magazine although I have adapted it (by skipping the brine)** to make it a quick meal to prepare. The chicken is essentially ‘butterflied’ (laid-open flat) which enables it to cook much faster than normal. The sliced potatoes lay below the chicken and are cooked in the juices that drip down as the chicken cooks.
Below I’ll give you step-by-step instructions for this outstanding yet easy roast chicken recipe:
High Heat Roast Chicken and Potatoes (adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine)
- 1 whole chicken, giblets removed and rinsed
- 2 lbs. russet or Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened (optional)
- kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 500 F. Set oven rack in lower third of the oven.
- Cover the bottom broiler pan with foil. Then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the potato slices over the foil. The potatoes will need to be layered.
- Cut through the backbone of the chicken. This can be done with either kitchen shears or a sharp kitchen knife. If using the latter, I find it easiest to stand the chicken up and use a downward ‘sawing’ motion to cut through.
- Next you’ll flip the bird over and flatten it’s backbone by pressing hard on it. This will help the chicken lay flat (which promotes even cooking!)
- Next, if using the butter, use your fingers to spread it under the skin. The skin from the neck and legs is really easy to lift. And once the skin is lifted – you simply spread the butter underneath it. Once that’s done salt and pepper the skin of the chicken. Spray the broiler rack with non-stick cooking spray and lay the chicken on it (the rack fits over the broiler).
- Roast the 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 pieces and serve with potatoes. Enjoy
*Hands free basting! The potatoes are basted as the juices drip down from the chicken.
**Brining a chicken is when the chicken sits, refrigerated, in a salt bath (typically for 8 hours or more). Although you rinse the brine off before you cook it, the resulting chicken is much moister and beautifully seasoned. Unfortunately it’s a bit of work so what I often do to simulate a brine is to salt the chicken the night before and let it sit in the refrigerate overnight. This ‘air brine’ also does wonders for the bird. That being said – the whole chicken recipe above is absolutely divine even without the brine.