I never roasted a whole chicken until I was 31 years old. When I admit that, I feel like I should be in some sort of Poultry Lovers Anonymous group or something. I'm not overly certain why it took me so long--especially since I decided to start learning to cook when I was 20. One would think a basic skill like roasting a bird would've been high on my list. One reason may be that I really like breast meat, frankly, and I know it's better for you due to less fat, etc. (yes, I KNOW the thighs and other parts have better flavor), so I just wasn't all that interested in this concept of roasting a bird. My mom kept trying to convince me to do so, all through college, talking about how it's much cheaper than buying boneless/skinless boobs. I was not to be swayed.
I don't really know why I wanted to start doing a roast chicken. I think part of it had to do with being the host of Thanksgiving. I was a total turkey noob and, together with my lack of experience roasting chicken, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Yet again, my mom had mentioned I could try out different spice rubs, etc., on a chicken before I committed to doing it on the big bird. And yet again, I was not to be swayed.
Anyway, I make a roast chicken at least once a month now. (How quickly things change, no? Then again, my husband has professed that he really, really loves it when I make this dish, so that could have something to do with it.) I freeze the carcass, the neck, and any other giblets that happen to be in the chicken and I make stock every couple months from 3 carcasses.
The recipe I love the most, though, is Thomas Keller's, available many places on the net, but also here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Favorite-Simple-Roast-Chicken-231348
Roast chicken (poulet rôti, if you're being fancy shmancy)
Sauteed chard with chanterelles and toasted hazelnuts
and perhaps a rice or something, but we're trying to eat super healthy, so we'll likely just load up on more chard or make a salad.