Roasting a whole chicken is an excellent way to feed a large group of people, and it requires minimal attention once it has been placed in the oven to cook. Roast chicken can also be used in a variety of meals once cooked depending on the seasonings you use, or served with vegetable or rice side dishes for a simple, elegant meal.
Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius.
Combine a small amount of olive oil with sea salt or kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and any herbs or spices you wish to flavour the chicken with in a small mixing bowl.
Using a cooking brush, brush the olive oil mixture over the top and sides of the chicken to coat the bird. Only use enough to coat the skin. The oil should not be dripping off.
Place the chicken on a roasting rack inside the enamel cast iron pan. Position the sides of the roasting rack gently against the sides and wings of the bird so that they are gently pushed inward. Do not tighten the roasting rack too much, as this may increase the cooking time.
Place a meat thermometer in the thigh of the chicken. Insert the thermometer about halfway between the bone and the skin, making sure the tip of the thermometer is not touching bone.
Roast the chicken in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes per pound or until the meat thermometer reads 75 degrees Celsius.
Remove the chicken from the oven and cover it with a layer of aluminium foil. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. This will help to redistribute the juices, making for extra moist meat.
For easier clean-up, place a layer of aluminium foil under the roasting rack directly on the pan. Discard the aluminium foil after the pan cools.