You need to brine the chicken between 1 and 1.5 hrs before you cook it. You can go up to 2 hrs but probably don't want to go further as even at 2 hours it and the potatoes beneath it start getting a bit salty.
For the brine:
Combine the following in a small Ziploc bag
With a meat pounder or rolling pin beat the ingredients until pulverized then transfer to a gallon ziploc bag and combine with 2 cups hot water. Let stand for 10 minutes so the flavor melds. Add 1.5 qts of cold water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Immerse the chicken in the brine. If not covered completely add water. Seal the bag and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 1.5 hrs.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Set a V-rack in a non-stick aluminum roasting pan.The type of pan is normally not an issue but in this case the chicken has to be raised above the potatoes and the pan has to distribute heat evenly and not allow the potatoes to stick. If the potatoes stick it will be difficult getting them loose without destroying them later.
For the paste mix together in a small bowl
Carefully loosen the chicken skin over the breasts and thighs and slip 2/3s of the paste in between the skin and the meat and spread evenly. Rub the rest in the chicken cavity. If you have twine tie the drumsticks together. Rub all sides of the chicken with 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil.
If you bought tiny 1" - 1.5" inch Yukon gold potatoes you'll want to cut them in half. If you bought the medium sized ones quarter them lengthwise. I often cut them in half lengthwise then cut each half in three wedges lengthwise again like Jo-Jos, it all depends on the size of the potato. I'd say the skin side of the potato slice should be no fatter than 1 inch. Combine and toss the following in a bowl
Place the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan under the V-rack with the cut sides down. It helps to place the skin side all facing one direction so when you need to flip them it's much easier. Place the peeled shallots (halves separated) under the v-rack if they fit. Place the chicken on the V-rack breast side down (we'll change this later)
Roast the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn the temperature down to 375 degrees.
Lift the v-rack out of the roasting pan and flip the potatoes to their other cut side if they have one. If they're not nice and brown yet don't stress it, we can flip them a second time later.
Lift the chicken and turn it breast side up. Brush the breast with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil then return the roasting pan to the oven and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 160 – 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast - about 30 minutes depending on your oven and the size of the bird. Go by the temp, not the color or time..
If at 30 minutes it's still not done yet, pull out the V-rack again and flip the potatoes back to their first side. Also tilt the chicken on the V-rack to let the juices flow out into the potatoes in the pan below then tilt the pan to distribute. Insert the chicken back into the oven and check it every 10 minutes or less.
Do NOT over cook the chicken or it will taste like every other dry chicken you've ever tasted.
Cut into it if you must to ensure that it is done but don't cook it any longer than you have to – I can't stress that enough.
After the chicken is done remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes so the juices will redistribute
Separate both chicken legs right where they meet the body then pull the each straight out to the side at the “knee” until the joint pops, they should come easy. The breast can be cut off in two pieces by cutting straight down at in the center and pointing the blade of the knife slightly to the right until the entire half breast is free. Do the same for the left half breast. Use a slicer if you have one because every other knife will be clumsy in this case. Place the potatoes, garlic, one or two shallots and chicken on each plate.
The shallots should be very very soft and smooth. Some don't like the texture but the flavor is very mild almost like an onion and garlic mixed. The garlic cloves that are also in the pan can be squeezed and the paste can be smeared onto potatoes or baguette. It's also nice to combine it with melted butter and put inside baked potatoes.
In the photos associated with this recipe I used a mixture of Yukon gold, red bliss and purple potatoes and after 20 minutes I added sliced sweet potatoes.