once again, use the best quality chicken you can afford. Cheap battery chickies don't taste of much, and an organic one will be much nicer. Also, get a decent sized one - it's much better value, and goes a long way. I think this is basically from Nigel Slater's Appetite, but I can't remember ...
preheat the oven to gas mark 6
take the chicken, and remove the giblets, if there are any. Put it in a roasting tray with a reasonable amount of room to spare.
cut a lemon in half - put one half inside the chickie's cavity, and squeeze the other half over the bird, leaving the shell in the roasting dish. Take a head of garlic, trim it, and put it cut side down in the tray.
season the chicken with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt, and pour a little olive oil over it. I also cover it with butter wrappers (which I save) for the first hour or so.
cook for 20 mins per half kilo, plus half an hour. Leave it to rest for 15 mins, and make a gravy from the pan juices, some vermouth, and some butter.
I prefer to roast my chicken on a rack over a roasting tray, but I'm not sure it produces a better result. I suppose it would be an idea to try both and compare.
Sometimes, before starting to roast my chicken, I bathe it with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and snipped tarragon leaves (either dried or fresh), and ground black pepper.Â I pour some into the cavity, too, and reserve a little for basting during cooking.