A terrific simple meal. Leftover chicken is great on a salad.
- 1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken
- 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 (1/4-inch-thick) lemon slices
Rinse chicken and thoroughly pat dry, then sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper and set in a shallow dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 12 and up to 48 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
Pat chicken dry, then rub skin with butter and put lemon slices in cavity. Put chicken in a small roasting pan in oven and reduce oven temperature to 425°F. Roast chicken, basting occasionally with pan juices, until thermometer inserted 2 inches into fleshy part of thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, about 50 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.