Grab the chicken and remove the extra bits hidden in the cavity.
Spatchcock the bird. With a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken by making parallel cuts along each side of the spine.
If you hit a bone that’s hard to crunch through, swing the bird around and cut from the neck hole side instead. Once you remove the backbone, save it to make bone broth.
Use your shears to snip a shallow incision in the cartilage on the back of the breast bone. Then, use both hands to firmly press down to flatten the chicken.
Flip the bird skin-side up, and use your fingers to gently separate the skin of the chicken from the breast and thigh meat to create pockets. Make sure you don’t tear any holes or detach the skin from the bird entirely.
Measure out the salt in a ramekin, and sprinkle it on the outside of the chicken and massage it under the skin.
Tuck the wings behind the breast so the tips won’t burn.
Set a wire rack on top of a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and place the chicken skin-side up on the wire rack. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Pre-salting really does make a difference, but if you are pressed for time, you can skip to the next part.
When you’re ready to roast the bird, heat the oven to 400°F on convection roast or 425°F in a regular oven, and place the rack in the upper middle position.
Grab your softened fat of choice—I leave my butter out in the morning so it’s ready to go at dinnertime—and mix in your preferred herb or spice blend.
Spoon one-fourth of the herb butter under the skin onto a chicken breast. Repeat on the other side.
Press your fingers on top of the skin to spread the herb butter evenly over the breast.
Divide the remaining herb butter and tuck it under the skin onto the thigh meat. Do your best to massage the butter down to the drumstick. You’ll be able to spot the herbs under the skin, so you’ll know if you were successful or not.
Re-position the chicken on top of the wire rack, making sure the wingtips are still tucked behind the breast, and rearrange the skin to fully cover the meat. Then, pop it in the oven.
Roast the chicken for 45 minutes or until the breast meat reaches 150°F and the thigh meat hits 170°F as measured by an instant read thermometer. Remember: an accurate instant-read meat thermometer is the key to perfectly cooked chicken.
Take the bird out of the oven and rest it for at least 10 minutes before carving.