This is an adaptation of David Tanis's Pimentón Roast Chickens with Crispy Potatoes (I saw it originally on Lottie + Doof). The problem I had with the original is that it's two chickens, and when do I need to feed 8 people? Pretty much never, and though I love me some leftover chicken and crispy potatoes, I can't house two 4 lb chickens in a week unless that's all I'm eating (a vegetarian wife means she's not helping). I also cheated and instead of getting fancy Spanish pimentón picante just used regular smoked paprika and some cayenne pepper. Worked for me.
I also decided to try an old favorite technique: butterflying or spatchcocking. In short this flattens the chicken allowing you to cook the breast and thighs to their appropriate temperatures (160 ish and 170 ish respectively), but it also allows more fat and juices to get into the potatoes... which is the whole point, no? I didn't brine or salt the bird or even really marinate it for very long. Instead, as the chicken is supposed to come to room temperature before cooking I brushed it with the paprika/garlic marinade (after the spatchcocking obviously) and let it sit on the counter for two hours.
Then instead of a roasting pan I used a skillet... having the chicken just lay on top of the quartered Yukon golds. This kind of resembles brick chicken but you know... without the brick. Then I just put it into at 500 degrees for 20 minutes before turning and going for another 20 minutes.
The chicken came out pretty well... but the clumps of marinade you see above mostly burned... which is fine I guess since you can just brush it off, but it suggests I probably need to turn the oven down a bit (and indeed Tanis has you go from 500 to 425 after the first half) and use less marinade. In addition the potatoes were super delicious but not at all crispy... I sort of expected that since that was my (minor) complaint with brick chicken... but I think I'd like to try this again with a the potatoes under a rack of some kind so air can circulate and crisp them.
So like the title says... still a work in progress as I try to get to a point where I'm not just doing recipes by rote.