Winner, winner, I've finally discovered the secret to a tasty chicken dinner!
The chicken develops a flavorful, crisp skin thanks to a quick rubdown with salt and cornstarch prior to roasting.
1 whole roaster chicken (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds small potatoes, scrubbed and halved
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1. Line roasting pan with foil. Adjust oven rack to middle, place roasting pan on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Combine cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Using a skewer or the tines of a fork, poke small holes all over the chicken skin. Rub the cornstarch mixture evenly over the entire skin.
3. Place the chicken wing-side up on the roasting rack, remove the roasting pan from the oven, place the rack with the chicken in the pan and roast for 15 minutes
4. Carefully remove the pan and turn the chicken onto its other side (try using oven mitts, or wadded up towels to gently handle the chicken and turn it) and roast for 15 more minutes. While the chicken roasts, toss the potatoes with the vegetable oil and a few pinches of salt.
5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven after 30 minutes, take the rack with the chicken out of the pan and place it on a cookie sheet nearby. Gather the tin foil by the corners and lift it out of the pan with all the grease and throw it away.
6. Arrange the potatoes, cut-side down, in the pan. Flip the chicken breast-side up and put it back in the roasting pan over the potatoes. Place the roasting pan back into the oven and roast for about 20 more minutes, until a thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees.
7. Remove the chicken, pour any juices in the cavity over the potatoes, and rest the chicken upright on an angel-food cake pan insert or an empty soda can for about 15 minutes
8. Toss the potatoes with the chicken juices (you may have to scrape a bit off the bottom of the pan if they are sticking) and roast for an additional 20 minutes or longer until they are as crisp and brown as you like them.