1 5- to 6-pound (2.3 to 2.7kg) chicken, wing tips removed, brought to room temperature, if possible
1 lemon, halved (optional) 4 cloves garlic (optional)
1⁄4 cup (60g) unsalted butter (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (240ml) chicken stock, water, fruit juice, or wine for optional deglazing
Preheat a regular oven to 500°F (260°C) or a convection oven to 450°F (230°C). Place an oven rack on the second level from the bottom of the oven.
Remove the fat from the tail and crop ends of the chicken. Freeze the neck and giblets for stock. Reserve the chicken liver for another use. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter, if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in a 12 by 8 by 1 1/2-inch (30 by 20 by 4cm) roasting pan breast side up. Put into the oven legs first and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spoon or spatula to keep it from sticking.
Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end.As you lift the chicken, carefully tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.
Excerpted from Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Kristen Miglore. Copyright © 2015 by Food52 Inc. Photographs copyright © 2015 by James Ransom. Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.