I made my first roasted chicken on Sunday and it turned out dang good! This recipe came from my Joy of Cooking cookbook, though I am modifying the way it is written.
1 roasting chicken (the following proportions are for one that is 4 1/2 lbs or less. Adjust accordingly)
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (may sub thyme), or 3/4 tsp dried
1 tsp grated lemon zest (optional but makes it so good)
2-3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 400.
Remove neck and giblets from chicken. Rinse and pat dry.
Sprinkle skin with the additional salt and generously rub body and neck to get it in well.
Arrange chicken, breast side up, in roasting pan and brush with butter, especially breast and legs.
Combine all other ingredients in small bowl.
Using your fingers, loosen the skin and spread the herb mixture over the meat of the breast, thighs, and drumsticks.
Roast for 55-65 minutes (for a 4 lb bird). Remove chicken to a platter and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.
** For larger birds, figure 1 hour for first 4 lbs and an additional 8 minutes per additional pound.
** If you want moist breast meat consider the chicken done with the thickest part of the thigh exudes clear juices when pricked deeply with a fork and registers 170 to 175 F. If you like dark meat falloing off the bone and are willing to risk a dry breast, roast until the thigh registers 180.
I had a 6 lb bird and increased the measurements by 50%. I cooked it, with a lid on, in a roasting pan on my oven's convection roast setting for about 1 hr 15 minutes. It was perfect and the breast meat was so juicy.