From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: High-Roast Chicken Dinner
We began by brining the chicken for moist, well-seasoned meat. Then we butterflied the chicken, which allowed for more even and faster roasting. We found that we were able to add moisture and flavor to the chicken by rubbing flavored herb butter under the skin. (Some recipes instruct rubbing the butter over the skin, but the herbs burn and the butter doesn’t season the meat.) We cooked the chicken on top of a broiler pan with a bottom attached. In the bottom of the pan under the chicken, we placed a layer of potatoes. To ensure that the potatoes cooked through, we sliced them thin—1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. As the chicken cooked, the potatoes absorbed the juices from the chicken and became well seasoned. In just one hour we had roast chicken with spectacularly crisp skin and moist meat—and potatoes too.
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, 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.