- 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (liver and giblets discarded)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 lemons, halved or quartered
- 2 to 3 fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds total), cored, stalks discarded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Place a lemon half in cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie legs together. Add fennel and remaining lemons to sheet and toss with oil.
- Roast until juices run clear when chicken is pierced between breast and leg, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165, 60 to 70 minutes, basting chicken with pan juices and tossing fennel halfway through.
- Transfer chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken. Serve with fennel and lemons.
There are several ways to test chicken for doneness. For a whole or cut-up chicken, you can use an instant-read thermometer or pierce the chicken and see if the juices run clear. For thin pieces of chicken, simply cut into the center and check if the meat is opaque.