Quickly cook, stirring occasionally, some sliced polenta in a little butter to serve alongside—it’s really sublime with the caramelized shallot-garlic “marmalade.”
Heat oven to 400°F. Using heavy kitchen shears, cut up the back of the chicken on either side of the backbone; remove the backbone and discard.* Cut off legs, keeping them whole or separating the drumstick and thigh. Keep the breast whole, with wings attached (or remove them if you’d like). Tuck wings under.
Place whole breast and leg pieces in a 13x9-inch baking dish or casserole. Arrange shallots and garlic heads around chicken. Drizzle chicken and vegetables with oil; season with salt, pepper, and sage.
Roast chicken for 40 to 45 minutes or until no longer pink in center (internal temperature should reach 165°F in thickest part of pieces).
Remove chicken to serving plate or cutting board to carve. Squeeze garlic cloves from papery skins; coarsely chop with shallots. Toss with honey and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Serve with chicken.
Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.
Cutting up a whole bird quickly decreases the time it takes to roast—but keeping the breast whole helps keep the meat moist and tender. *Freeze chicken backbones and wings for making broth or soup.