I've cooked and eaten a good amount of roast chicken in my day. I like to think I've seen it all -- from birds so bland and boring they weren't worth eating to cluckers so juicy and succulent I devoured every last bite.
I've discovered two things that are key to making a perfect roast chicken: 1) cooking at a very high temperature so that the skin becomes crispy and golden and seals the meat inside so it remains moist and 2) buying the best quality chicken possible.
To perfect this recipe I experimented for an entire week, flipping, seasoning, and cooking at different times and temperatures. I roasted the chickens of several different store brands as well as a few from my favorite farmer's market vendors. When it came time to taste test, I found that the quality of the bird had everything to do with the amount of ooh's and ahh's it received.
As you can probably imagine, I wound up serving my family chicken every night that week, but the recipe turned out so well, everyone was as enthusiastic with dinner on day 4 as they were on day 1 -- and my husband insists that this is the best chicken he's ever tasted.
So kick your oven temperature way up, buy the best quality bird you can get your hands on and watch your family devour this chicken. Just make sure to set aside 1/2 cup or so to make Chicken Bean and Cheese Quesadillas for school lunch the next day!