Well, there are lots of ways. This is just one. I vary up my roast chickens a lot for the sake of variety.
My chicken was a 4.3 pound pasture-raised bird I bought out of the New Milford’s last stand for the season at Farmers’ Marketing last fall.
Thawed it, washed it, removed any fat (of which there was remarkably little). Removed the neck for the moment. (There were no other giblets in this bird.)
Prepped up two smallish potatoes from the Virginia farm, removing eyes and thoroughly cleaning them. Chopped them up mostly into 3/4 inch by 1/4 inch bits, on average. Roughly diced up a quarter of a white onion. Mixed them together with a little teryaki sauce (which happens to be gluten-free; I still want to run that gluten-free study on myself, but this month won’t be it), cracked black pepper and nutmeg, and a little salt.
In a separate bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, squeezings from one fresh lemon (juice and pulp), cracked black pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Add to this a slice of organic butter, melted. This should be mixed up. The lemon is for both flavor and browning of the bird. The butter (substitute in coconut oil if you like, but DO NOT use olive oil — olive oil does not stand up to high temp/long-time temp cooking!) serves to help moisten the bird and to help adhere the mixture to the bird.
Take the potato/onion/seasoning mixture and stuff the body cavity. (Be sure to do this JUST BEFORE you place the critter in the oven! This is true with any dressing/stuffing you devise!)
If you can, seal off the cavity. I was able to, using a broken point from a wooden shish kebab skewer. (If you go wooden, soak the skewer in water in advance.)
Coat the bird breast side up with the lemon marinate. Flip over, coat this side with lemon marinate. I reserved a little bit of the marinate.
Oven, pre-heated: 350 for pastured birds, you can up it to 375 if you wish for supermarket things. Cook breast side down.
After one hour under Bake, I returned, played with camera, and used the rest of the marinate. I also removed the neck, to reserve for the soup.
Came back a half hour after that, basted with pan drippings.
And yet another half hour: done. While you certainly don’t want your chicken undercooked, you really don’t want it overcooked and dried-out. And if you don’t stuff your bird, you don’t need to cook it so long. This bird’s breast meat was surprisingly nourishingly moist, and I didn’t have to give much of that to the cats.
And, of course, save bones, connective tissue, and cartilage for soup or stock!!! I made a great soup out of these parts from this bird, to which I added a couple varieties of mushroom, some onion, some wakame seaweed, and a little apple cider vinegar for a bit of semi-Asiatic kick. Had about three chicken feet from a different pastured souce, and I added those in, too. (Score the skin, which is tougher here, with a knife, if needed.) Reserved some of the chicken meat to help it along, which I largely added back in towards the end. This soup set up quite well.