Step 1: Prepare the chicken
You don't need to wash the chicken before you cook it. However, sometimes the cavity of the chicken is packed with gizzards or other internal organs; remove this packet before cooking. Set the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up.
Step 2: Preheat the oven and season the chicken
Step 3: Roast the chicken
Place the chicken (in the roasting pan) in the preheated oven. Cooking times vary by weight:
2-1/2- to 3-pound chicken: Roast 1 to 1-1/4 hours
3- to 3-1/2-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours
3-1/2- to 4-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours
4-1/2- to 5-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Step 4: Remove chicken from oven
The chicken is done cooking when the juices run clear, the chicken is no longer pink, and the drumsticks move easily in their sockets. The internal temperature -- measured by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (the thermometer should not touch bone) -- should be 180 degrees F.