Many of my friends do not cook meat, though they enjoy eating it. I think that's a shame, especially now that such healthy and safe meat can be purchased with relative ease. I get all my meat now at the Seward Co-op, which has a Meat and Seafood Department that "features delicious, locally raised beef, pork and poultry" and makes my shopping and cooking quite pleasant.
With the temperatures well below freezing these past few weeks, it felt appropriate to roast a chicken, and for that, I turn to my Joy of Cooking: The All Purpose Cookbook for it's delightfully straightforward recipe:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the bird on a rack, uncovered, in the oven and reduce the heat at once to 350 degrees. Roast about 20 minutes per pound. Baste frequently with pan drippings. Serve with gravy.
Here's the kicker: I don't have a rack, and I didn't even baste the thing. And it was perfect. I do stick an onion (cut in half) inside the chicken, and I rub a drizzle of olive oil over the top, along with some rosemary and thyme. I also make gravy, but that part is easy:
Pour the juices into a pan, and heat until boiling (on the stove top). Whisk in flour until all the liquid is absorbed. Whisk in water until the gravy has reached a thickness you are happy with. Add salt and pepper to taste.