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1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt), for brine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 whole chicken 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, giblets removed and reserved for another use, fat around cavity removed and discarded
Vegetable cooking spray (nonstick)
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt (for potatoes)
ground black pepper
1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned for 1 hour (do not brine for longer or it will be too salty). Remove chicken from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Butterfly chicken, flatten breastbone and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Chicken can be prepared up until this point and refrigerated, uncovered. (This will dry out the skin and make it even more crisp when cooked.)
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500°F. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Spread potatoes in even layer in foil-lined broiler pan bottom. Place broiler pan rack with chicken on top. Rub chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with pepper.
3. Roast chicken until spotty brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue to roast until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in thickest part of breast, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Cover parts with foil if they become too done.
4. Transfer chicken to cutting board. With potholders, remove broiler pan rack; soak up excess grease from potatoes with several sheets paper towels. Remove foil liner with potatoes from broiler pan bottom and invert foil and potatoes onto cookie sheet or second cutting board. Carefully peel back foil, using a metal spatula to help scrape potatoes off foil. With additional paper towels, pat off remaining grease. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with potatoes.