This is one of the best recipes for Baked Chicken that I have ever seen. Try it and I bet you'll be amazed at how very tender, delicious, and easy to make this wonderful baked chicken is.
1. 5- to 6-pound chicken at room temperature, wing tips removed.
2. 1 lemon, halved.
3. 4 whole garlic cloves.
4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional.
5. Ground Sea Salt, to taste.
6. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
7. 1 cup chicken stock, water, wine for optional deglazing
Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to 500°F (or for convection, reduce to 450°F).
Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken. Freeze the neck and giblets for stock. Reserve chicken livers 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 x 8 x 1 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 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.
Optional: Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken.
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