From America's Test Kitchen Season 1: Great Roast Chicken
Most home-cooked chickens are either grossly overcooked or so underdone that they resemble an avian version of steak tartare. We wanted a simple method for producing perfectly roasted chicken, where the white meat cooks up juicy and tender, but with a hint of chew, and the dark meat is fully cooked, all the way to the bone.
For maximum juiciness and well-seasoned meat, we brined the chicken. And for further flavor and a moisture boost to the delicate breast, we rubbed butter under the skin and over the breast. Trussing and continuous basting both proved unnecessary for this ideal chicken. In fact, basting turned its skin greasy and chewy. We had hoped that the bird wouldn’t have to be turned while cooking, but even cooking is crucial for successful chicken roasting. In the end, we found that roasting the bird for 15 minutes on each side and then putting it on its back rendered perfectly cooked white and dark meat as well as golden, crunchy skin.
A three-and-one-half-pound bird should roast in fifty-five to sixty minutes while a four- to four-and-one-half-pound bird requires sixty to sixty-five minutes. If using a V-rack, be sure to grease it so the chicken does not stick to it. If you don’t have a V-rack, set the bird on a regular rack and use balls of aluminum foil to keep the roasting chicken propped up on its side. If using a kosher chicken, skip the brining process and begin with step 2.