Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (the chicken will only be cooked at this temperature for a short amount of time, then the oven temperature will be reduced)
Get a baking dish that the chicken fits in nicely, do not squish the chicken to make it fit.
Line a baking dish with foil for easy clean-up. Or, spray the baking dish with non-stick spray.
Either lay your rack in the baking dish or add the slices of onion and citrus. You can reserve a few pieces of onion to put inside the cavity of the chicken.
Mix the spices in a small dish to have ready, about 1 teaspoon each. If there isn't someone to help, I often put the olive oil in a separate dish. That way, I can grab everything I need for the chicken without washing my hands a dozen times.
Unwrap the chicken from the packaging. Check for any extra pieces inside the cavity (liver, kidney, etc...). Remove these pieces.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, with cool water. Be careful not to splash.
Place the chicken in the baking dish. Fold back and tuck the wings. If you are not putting citrus and herbs into the cavity, tie together the legs using butcher string.
Massage olive oil all over the raw chicken skin.
Add the spices and massage on the chicken.
If you are using citrus and herbs, you can now place some pieces inside the chicken’s cavity. You can also place a few pieces around the outside of the chicken.
Sprinkle the top of the chicken with coarse salt if you are using it.
Wash your hands.
Put the chicken in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Let the chicken roast for about 1 hour at 375 degrees before checking.
To see if the chicken is done, we insert a thermometer into the thigh area. The temperature needs to be at least 165 degrees.
Let the finished roasted chicken set for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving.