Preparation

  • Heat oven to 500F
  • CHICKEN: While oven is heating, wash chicken, removing giblets and excess skin or fat. Pat dry.
  • With knife or kitchen shears, cut out the backbone from the chicken. Reserve and freeze for making stock at later time.
  • With chicken breast-side up on a sturdy counter and cutting board, flatten chicken by cracking the breast bone, either by bending or striking with rolling pin. I just whack it with my fist.
  • 'Rain' salt on to surface of chicken. There must be enough salt on the skin to get it crisp so don't wimp out here! Rain salt!
  • Set aside chicken to rest and to warm up. Cover loosely with paper towel or foil. The salt needs some time to work on the skin and the meat needs to warm up from the refrigerator.
  • POTATOES: while chicken is resting wash and prep potatoes. If they need to be peeled, then peel them. I just peel the buds and leave some of the skin on. 
  • Pat potatoes dry with paper towels and cut into wedges or slices. I like wedges with the skin side down because it is less likely to stick. Slices will stick HARD.
  • Line bottom of broiler pan with foil. Critical for easy clean up!
  • Spread oil or vegetable spray on foil. 
  • Layer potatoes on foil. Remember, the potatoes are for soaking up the chicken fat so spread them around.
  • Put slotted broiler pan top over the potatoes.
  • Place chicken on the slotted broiler pan, in the center
  • Sprinkle Paprika, Black Pepper and Red Pepper flakes, if using.
  • Cross legs of chicken over the breast. Tie if necessary.

Prep

Oven Temp
Foil in Pan
Cutting the Backbone
Flatten the Chicken
Let chicken rest
Potatoes spread out