Set the chicken out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a roasting pan with a rack with cooking spray to assist in clean up later.
If you don’t have a baking pan with a rack, you can place a bed of veggies in the bottom of a 13 by 9 inches baking pan.
Chop several carrots, potatoes, and celery into large chunks and line the bottom of the baking pan. The idea is the create a sort of platform with the veggies so that the air can circulate around the chicken and keep the skin from getting soggy in the juices that the chicken will release.
Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry on all sides.
If the cavity is stuffed with chicken giblets, remove these.
Salt and pepper the chicken very liberally both inside the cavity and outside the cavity. Don’t fear that the chicken will be too salty. Much of the salt will run off in the juices. You want to use one teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken.
Next, melt the butter in a small dish by microwaving it for about 25 to 30 seconds.
Stir in the olive oil and mix it well.
Rub the chicken under the skin with about half of the olive oil mixture.
Rub the outside of the chicken skin with the remainder of the olive oil mixture. Using the oil and butter mixture will help the chicken skin turn brown and crisp in the baking.
Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with the garlic and parsley.
Take the lemon half and the rosemary sprigs and shove them inside the cavity.
Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of lemon chicken. The flavor the lemon provides is very mild, but as the chicken bakes, the lemon juice will evaporate and help the inside of the chicken stay moist and tender.
If you want a picture-perfect roast chicken, you can use kitchen twine to tie the legs together.
Place the chicken in the oven and bake it for at least 90 minutes.
You want to bake it for about 20 minutes per pound, but you should definitely allow extra time, at least 30 minutes, just in case it doesn’t get done in the time frame you expect.
You can always cover it with foil to keep it warm, but nobody can eat an undercooked chicken.
You’ll want to baste it every 30 minutes or so during the baking time. Just spoon a bit of the pan juices over the chicken.
When you get toward the end of the baking time, start paying attention to the classic “doneness” tests for chicken.
First, your chicken should be golden brown and smelling wonderful.
Second, the chicken legs should wiggle easily in their sockets.
Third, the juices should run completely clear.
Fourth, use a kitchen meat thermometer to test the interior temperature of the meat.
Let the chicken rest on the counter for about 15 minutes after you’ve noticed all of the previous doneness signs. This will allow the chicken to come up to temperature because it keeps cooking even after it leaves the oven.
The temperature that you are aiming for is between 155 to 160 degrees. If you have reached that temperature, you can now carve and serve the chicken.
If not, place it back in the oven for another 20 minutes and repeat the doneness tests.