1. Position the oven racks so that the top rack is in the center of the oven to allow room for the chicken. Place the other rack or racks below. Preheat the oven to convection roast at 450°F. Coat a rack with nonstick spray and set it on a shallow roasting pan.
2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin over the breast and slide a 1½-teaspoon piece of butter under each side. Rub the remaining tablespoon of butter over the surface of the chicken and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the baking rack and tuck the wings under the shoulders (see Note).
3. Place the chicken in its pan in the oven and roast it for 35 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300°F and roast for 25 to 30 more minutes or until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the inside of the thigh meat reads 170°F.
4. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.
Herb Roasted Whole Chicken
Mix ½ teaspoon each of dried basil, dried lavender, dried marjoram, dried rosemary, dried sage, dried summer savory, dried thyme, and fennel seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and grind until powdered. (You can use 4 teaspoons herbes de Provence in place of this mixture.) Rub the chicken inside and outside with olive oil and pat the herb mixture on evenly all over. Place the chicken on the roasting rack and roast as directed. Remove to a carving board and serve.
Asian-Spiced Roast Whole Chicken
Mix 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and 1½ teaspoons five-spice powder. Rub the mixture over the chicken and roast as directed. After roasting, serve the chicken on a platter surrounded with fresh cilantro.
Curry Roasted Chicken with Lime Juice
In a small pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter and add 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 minced garlic clove. Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and brush with the curry butter. Roast as directed, brushing the chicken with the curry butter several times. Transfer the roasted chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan and set the pan over moderate heat. Add ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Scrape the pan to loosen the browned bits, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce it to 3 tablespoons. Add any juices that have accumulated from the roasted chicken, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve the juices with the chicken.
Marinated Whole Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary
The day before you plan to cook the chicken, wash it, dry it, and place it into a large zip-top plastic bag. Add ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ cup dry white wine, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 4 peeled and coarsely chopped garlic cloves, and ¼ cup olive oil. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight, turning the bag once or twice. The next day, preheat the oven, remove the chicken from the bag, place it on the roasting rack, and roast as directed, brushing the chicken every 15 minutes with the marinade. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and serve.
Roast Chicken with Fennel Seeds
Combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken and spread the garlic mixture evenly over the breast, back, and legs. Roast as directed, brushing with olive oil once or twice. Transfer the roasted chicken to a carving board and serve.