- 2 chickens, each 3-1/2 to 4 pounds
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a Microplane™
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for the potatoes
- 3 tablespoons Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika) plus more for dusting
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 2 bunches fresh thyme or rosemary
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or large fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Remove giblets, if any, and rinse the chickens, inside and out, under cold running water. Remove any excess gobs of fat near the main cavities. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Tie the legs together with butcher’s string and tuck the wings behind the backs.
Make the spice paste: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt, and pimentón and blend well. Stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Smear the mixture all over the outside of the chickens. Tuck one bunch of thyme inside the main cavity of each bird. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes in a large roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the chickens side by side on top of the potatoes. Squeeze the lemons over the chickens and add the rinds to the potatoes.
Roast the chickens, potatoes, and lemons for 30 minutes on high (400-450ºF). Stir the potatoes. Reduce the temperature to 350ºF and continue to roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs registers 165ºF, about 40 minutes more.
Transfer the chickens to a cutting board by inserting the handle of a wooden spoon through the main cavity, exiting the neck. This way, you can lift the ends of the spoon and do not need to maneuver the hot poultry with your hands. Let rest for 10 minutes. Keep the potatoes warm.
Arrange the potatoes and lemons on a large platter. Dust lightly with pimentón and garnish with the parsley. Arrange the chickens on top.