6 fresh sage leaves (or ½ tsp. dried herbes de Provence or dried basil)
Sprig of parsley
1 large lemon, cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Small sharp knife
Roasting pan, 2 inches deep and a little bigger than the chicken
Fork or skewer
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Set the rack on the lower-middle level in the oven.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, with cold water. Dry with paper towels. Remove any lumps of fat from inside the cavity and remove any chicken parts that may be inside the chicken.
Salt and pepper the inside of the bird, then stuff it with the sage leaves (or some dried herbs), sprig of parsley, and 3 or 4 wedges of lemon, squeezing them as you add them.
Rub a little olive oil over the whole chicken then season with salt and pepper and a little herbes de Provence, if using.
With the chicken breast side up, tuck the wingtips underneath the chicken and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Set the chicken in the roasting pan and squeeze the rest of the lemon over the top of the bird.
Wash the work surface and your hands with hot, soapy water.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 F and continue cooking for an hour or one hour and 15 minutes.
Check for doneness with a digital food thermometer: •Stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should read 74°C (165°F) when you remove the chicken from the oven.
Remove the chicken from the roasting pan with tongs and place on a plate. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before carving.
Use a chef’s knife to carve. Place the chicken on a cutting board to carve: •With a sharp knife, cut the skin between the legs and the body. Pull or cut the legs away from the body at the joint. •Cut down between the drumstick bone and thighbone. •Cut the wing joint from the body. •Cut the breast meat from the breast bone as one piece and then cut the meat across the grain into slices
Arrange the meat on a platter. You can garnish with some lemon and sage leaves.
Wash the cutting board and knife with hot, soapy water.
The bits of meat left on the chicken carcass can be removed to make sandwiches.
Use the carcass to make chicken stock. Cover with cold water, add 1 cup roughly chopped onion, 1 celery stalk, chopped, 1 carrot, peeled and chopped, 1 sprig thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 parsley stem and 3 peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for one hour, uncovered. Strain the solids from the liquid. You are ready to make soup.