Roasted Chicken #2

Serves: 4-6.

1 roasting chicken (5-6 lbs.) *
Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
6 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks — optional **

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove giblets and excess fat from chicken cavity and discard or reserve for another use. Wash inside and out thoroughly; pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper cavity; tuck wingtips behind and under back.
In a small saucepan, place butter, liquid smoke and hot sauce; melt over medium-low heat until butter is melted, stirring to mix well. Remove from heat and set aside. (Also, can be done in microwave in a non-metallic dish for 40 seconds on High.)
On a board or paper towels, turn chicken breast-side down. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then brush sauce liberally over surface. Place chicken on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side up. Season generously with salt and pepper, then brush sauce liberally over the remaining surfaces. Reserve the rest of the sauce for basting later.
Roast about 2 hours, basting frequently with remaining sauce about every 25-30 minutes, or until leg joints move freely and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and breast meat registers about 165F. on an instant-read thermometer. Remove chicken to a platter, tent with foil to keep warm and let stand 15-20 minutes before carving.

* If a smaller chicken is desired (about 3 to 3½ lbs., proportions of butter, liquid smoke flavoring and hot sauce can be cut in half.

** If potatoes are desired, add them to the pan at least 1 hour before finished roasting; coat the potato chunks in pan juices and finish roasting.