Sliding sage leaves under the skin of a roasting bird infuses both the breast meat and the crisp skin with flavor. Butterflying the bird - removing the backbone so that the bird roasts flat - cooks it quickly, here perched atop a bed of sweet potatoes. Serve this roast chicken with crisp sage and sweet potatoes with herbed farro.
Heat the oven to 425°F and position a rack in the center. Set the chicken on a large cutting board breast side down and, using a pair of kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the bird (save for a broth). Set the chicken flat on the cutting board, skin side up, and using the heels of your hands, press to flatten. Using your fingers, open pockets between the skin and breast meat and thighs. Slip 8 of the sage leaves between the skin and chicken.
In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, shallots, and the remaining 4 sage leaves with 2 Tbs. of the oil and ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. Scatter on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, leaving space in the center for the chicken. Brush the chicken's skin with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and sprinkle it all over with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper.
Roast the chicken and vegetables, rotating the baking sheet front to back after 20 minutes, until the chicken browns, the vegetables become tender, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast and thighs comes out at 165°F, about 40 minutes.
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then carve. Spoon the sweet potatoes, shallots, and chicken onto dinner plates and serve.
Serving Size 4 Servings