What makes this recipe incredible isn't the chicken-- roasted chicken is ALWAYS good-- but the potatoes.
These are, without exaggeration, the greatest potatoes you will ever have. And they SO simple: potato slices, garlic, and fresh herbs roasted in chicken fat.
Best. Potatoes. Ever.
The only downside to this recipe is that you will need to wash your oven rack after, and if you're not very careful taking out the chicken, may need to clean your oven as well.
Adapted from the Washington Post.
2 1/2- to 3-lb. chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
2 T butter, at room temperature
5 to 6 medium potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3 T fresh sage, coarsely chopped
1 T cold butter, cut into very thin slices
1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
Precook the sliced potatoes by placing them in a large saute pan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for 10 to 15 minutes; they will not be cooked through. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish that is just a bit bigger than your chicken.
If necessary, slightly lower the middle oven rack so the chicken will be situated in the middle of the oven as it roasts; preheat to 425 degrees.
Rinse the chicken and dry with paper towels inside and outside. Rub it with a generous amount of salt and pepper on the inside and outside. Rub the skin with the butter.
Season the partially cooked potatoes lightly with salt and pepper; add the sage and garlic cloves. If desired, add any butter left over from rubbing the chicken. Stir gently, turning over potato slices, until seasoning is distributed throughout dish.
When ready to roast, place the roasting rack with the chicken directly on the middle oven rack, with the potatoes positioned directly below to catch the chicken's juices, making sure there is enough headspace so the heat is not blocked from circulating under the bird. If, like me, you do not own a roasting rack, just place the potatoes on the lowest rack and then the chicken directly above them.
Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until thigh registers an internal temperature of 175.
Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.