Roasted Chicken with Salt Baked Potatoes


1 chicken, 4 to 5 lb.
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. herbs de Provence
2 tbsp. sea salt
For the salt-baked potatoes:

1 1/2 cups plus 1/2 Tbs. coarse sea salt
4 bay leaves
2 lb. baby red potatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the olive oil. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the herbs de Provence. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the salt. Generously season the chicken with the mixture; you may not need all of it. Place the chicken, breast side down, in a 5-quart Dutch oven; do not cover the pot. Set aside.

To prepare the potatoes, pour the 1 1/2 cups salt into a small lidded ovenproof pot. Arrange the bay leaves in the bed of salt. Wash the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl, stir together the potatoes and olive oil. Arrange the potatoes on the bed of salt, sprinkle with the 1/2 Tbs. salt and cover the pot.

Transfer both pots to the oven. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken breast side up and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

At the same time, roast the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the bed of salt, brush off the excess salt and place on a warmed plate.

Carve the chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately with the potatoes. Serves 4.