Classic and delicious, this roast chicken recipe will shine on the table fresh from the oven, served with any side. And this oven-roasted chicken is basic enough to play well in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
Pat chicken dry, and place, breast side up, on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425F. Loosen and lift skin from breasts, thighs, and legs with fingers. (Do not totally detach skin.) Stir together butter, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly underneath loosened skin. Carefully replace skin. Place lemon, onion, and garlic in cavity, and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
Roast in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breast registers 165F, 60 to 70 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes before carving. Discard skin, lemon, onion, and garlic.