Every cook swears by one method or recipe for roasting a chicken, but tricky techniques, fussy brines, and fancy rubs aside, only two things matter: crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat. This basic method gives you both without any special pans or weird ingredients. Just rub the bird with oil, salt, and pepper, add a few aromatics, roast for a few minutes on high heat, then finish on low. Use any leftover meat in a Chicken Salad Sandwich, or use the carcass and roasted vegetables to make Chicken Stock. This recipe also yields enough chicken for our easy Chicken Wing Dip recipe. We recommend serving with a healthy grain like our quinoa salad recipe.
Game plan: If you have the time and want crispier skin, salt the chicken the night before and refrigerate it uncovered. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
- Fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, or thyme (optional)