- 1 (4-pound) chicken
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 whole lemons, plus 1 sliced crosswise, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Fresh herbs, such as 4 sprigs rosemary, 4 sprigs sage, or 8 sprigs thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack set in upper third.
Remove giblets from chicken and rinse chicken inside and out with cold water. Set chicken, cavity-side down, in a colander to drain for 2 minutes. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fitted with a rack; pour lemon juice all over chicken, inside and out. Season chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper.
Pierce whole lemons three times with the tines of a fork; place pierced lemons inside cavity. Using kitchen twine, truss chicken to enclose. Transfer roasting pan to oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees; roast for 15 minutes.
Remove roasting pan from oven and, using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn chicken breast-side up. Return chicken to oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 180 degrees and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
Let chicken stand 15 minutes before carving. Transfer carved chicken to a serving platter and pour juices from roasting pan over chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs; serve.