The skin cannot crisp and the meat tastes bland if the bird is baked at low temperatures. Of course baking chicken on high temperature makes a mess; the fat splatters and burning fat smokes. The solution is to start with high heat and then to reduce it to moderately high. It is a good idea to baste often, smaller birds require more basting than large ones.
1 small chicken fryer
1 large yellow onion, sliced
ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 Tbsp butter, melted
• Wash the chicken inside and out.
• Take the giblets out of the chicken.
• Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers.
• Salt the chicken inside and out.
• Place the chicken on a platter and let it brine in the salt for 1-2 hours.
• Discard the liquid that collects under the chicken.
• Preheat the oven to 425F.
• Place the sliced onions in a small roasting pan.
• Drizzle onions with olive oil.
• Place the chicken on top.
• Sprinkle the chicken cavity with pepper.
• Place the lemons inside.
• Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels.
• Brush the skin with the melted butter.
• Tuck the wing tips under the body.
• Tie the legs together with kitchen string.
• Roast the chicken at 425F for just 15 minutes.
• Reduce the heat to 375F and roast the chicken for 1-3/4 hours, basting often.
• When chicken has been roasting for 1-3/4 hours, insert a meat thermometer near one of the thighbones.
• When the thermometer reaches 195F, the chicken is done.
• Remove chicken from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil.
• Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving.