Adapted from The New York Times

There are many ways to roast a chicken, and we've experimented with slow cooking, broiling, butterflying, and stuffing...but this is a basic recipe that worked well for us. If you have time, turning the temperature down and cooking for a longer time will result in more tender, juicy meat. A 3 1/2lb bird should roast in 55 to 60 minutes, while a 4 1/2lb bird requires 60 to 65 minutes. If using a basket or a V-rack, be sure to grease it so that the chicken does not stick to it. If you don't have a basket or V-rack, set the bird on a regular rack and use balls of aluminum foil or cake pans to keep the roasting chicken propped up on its side.

1 Roasting chicken (about 3-4 pounds), giblets removed, chicken rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Salt and ground pepper

Oil for basket or V-rack

Optional: lemon slices in half; peeled garlic cloves, onions, or other garnish

Place shallow roasting pan in oven and heat to 375°F. Brush chicken with butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Insert lemon, garlic, or other garnish into the cavity. 

Remove heated pan from oven and set oiled basket or V-rack in it. Place chicken on rack, wing side up. Roast 20 minutes, then rotate chicken, other wing side up. Roast 20 minutes, then rotate chicken breast side up. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in breast registers 160°F and in thigh registers between 165 and 175°F, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest 20 minutes. Carve and serve

Note: if you like your skin a bit crispier, try broiling at 475°F for the first 8-10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375°F for another ~40 minutes, or until the internal temperature hits 160°F.