There is something to be said for a perfectly roasted chicken.
I like to keep things simple with chicken. No trussing or fancy roasting racks or stands. Just a simple butterfly cut and then roasted on a sheet tray.
First things first.
Buy the best quality chicken you can find.
I love Mary's organic air-chilled chickens (available at most Whole Foods stores).
While you are at the store grab a few lemons, poultry herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano), a head of garlic, an yellow onion, and a stick of butter.
When you get home, preheat your oven to 425 and give your chicken a good rinse (don't forget to pull the giblets out of the body cavity). Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Line a sheet tray with a sheet of parchment and top with crushed garlic, sliced onion and one sliced lemon. Give your herbs a rough chop and sprinkle about half of them over the top. Aromatics. Done and Done.
Next, cut the backbone out of your chicken with some poultry scissors.
Why, you ask?
You want as much skin as possible to be exposed creating that beautiful golden brown crust that we all love on chicken. It also helps provide even cooking time for the chicken - the breasts and legs will actually roast at a similar rate which means the breast meat will still be juicy when the legs are cooked through.
Then, lay that beautiful bird right over your aromatics, skin-side up. Rub skin with olive oil and season well with kosher salt (don't forget the under-side too).
Take your other lemon and squeeze the juice right over the chicken. Stuff the remaining herbs under the chicken's skin along with some nubs of butter. Finish your bird off with some freshly cracked pepper.
Roast for 45 minutes. Rotate tray. Baste the bird with some pan juices. Roast another 30-45 or until internal temp reaches 160 (you will get those next 5 degrees of temperature bringing you to 165 with residual heat/carryover cooking while it is resting before you serve it). Carve up portions and spoon lemony pan jus over chicken.
Note: We never finish the whole chicken (between the two of us) so I save leftovers for chicken curry salad sandwiches the next day!