1/4 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tightly packed basil, minced
1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and marjoram
2 oz pancetta, minced
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, high quality
1 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken rinsed inside and out with cold water
6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 cup dry white wine
parley or fresh thyme for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram and pancetta. Blend in two tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut out the chickens backbone and save it for stock or discard. Open the chicken out flat, skin side up, pressing down firmly on the breast area to flatten. Stuff most of the herb mixture under the skin of the thigh, leg and breast areas. Rub remaining mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken skin side up in a shallow pan, such as a broiler pan. Scatter the potatoes around it and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes, then pour the wine over all. Roast an additional 40 minutes basting the chicken and potatoes frequently with the pan juices, turning the potatoes often so the brown evenly and to prevent them from sticking. Add additional wine if the pan dries out. Turn the chicken over for even browning and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Check the chicken for doneness, remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before placing on a serving platter with the potatoes. Drizzle chicken and potatoes with remaining balsamic vinegar, garnish with parsley or thyme and serve.