Until a few years ago I was totally intimidated by the thought of roasting an entire chicken. I avoid dealing with the whole bone thing. But I saw this recipe demonstrated on pbs Everyday Food, saw how easy it was, and decided to try it. Now whenever chickens are on sale I grab a couple and Josh helps roast them for Sunday dinner.
Original recipe found at Everyday Food
(I have altered it a bit from the original)
3 pounds small red potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves (or other herbs)
1 or 2 whole chickens (3-½ to 4 pounds each), rinsed and patted dry
(I usually only roast one chicken which will feed 4 adults with the potatos)
Preheat oven to 450°. On a large rimmed baking sheet (line it with aluminum foil or your pan will go black and be hard to clean like mine), toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Prepare and season chickens. Create a pocket by separating the skin from the meat on the breasts and thighs. Insert the herbs and seasonings under the skin directly on the meat and in the cavity. We use whatever spices we have on hand- thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, etc.
Nestle chickens, breast sides up, among potatoes (The potatos get covered in the chicken drippings and are really yummy. You can roast the chicken without potatos, either flat on the pan or on a wire rack) ; rub chickens with remaining tablespoon oil, and season each with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven, tossing potatoes occasionally and brushing chicken with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165°, about 1 hour.
Let chickens rest in a warm spot 10 minutes before serving.
Here's a video demonstration on how to carve a chicken (apparently it works for turkey's too).
The carcass and left over chicken also make really good chicken noodle soup. Just boil to death, strain, add veggies and egg noodles or homemade noodles