This is the chicken all ready to go into the oven. One lemon, cut in half, is in the cavity. (The recipe calls for 2 "rather small" lemons, but all I had was rather large ones). I stabbed each half 20 times with a trussing needle. That was the most complicated part of the recipe. You just plot it in an pan, without butter, oil, or even cooking spray. "This bird is self-basting so you need not fear it will stick to the pan." That is exactly what I feared, but, indeed, it didn't happen.
You turn it once and, after it's roasted for a while breast side up, you crank the oven up to 400 to let it brown. Look how nice and brown it is! Observe those juices in the bottom of the pan! They make a wonderful little sauce--just pour them out and whisk.
I served with very simple sides: mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini and cherry tomatoes with basil and dill. Anything would work because the chicken is the star: simple, but perfectly moist and flavorful. Really, this is a chicken recipe to treasure.
Here is the poor carcass after it's been picked over. Happily, nearly half of it is left over.
Jim: "I give it a 9. Do you want to know why I didn't give it a 9 1/2? Because I had to carve it at the table and it made a mess. I wish I could have carved in the kitchen."
Me: "Who said you had to carve it at the table? I just said it's supposed to be served right away, no resting."
Sarah: "Yeah, dad, I think you'd better give it back that half-point."
Me: "OK, I'm going to give it 9 1/2 to make up for the half-point that Jim unfairly took away from it."
Sarah: "I'm not going to get involved in this and I refuse to rate it. Without rating it, I will have to say it's damn good chicken."