I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. It is presented here in pretty much it's original format. I had somehow managed to prepare meals for nine years without cooking an entire chicken. I don't know how I did it. This recipe is to die for. The leftover meat, bones, skin, etc. can be boiled and used to make a base for soups that is far better than anything you'll find canned at the store.
4 teaspoons kosher salt (regular will work too)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/ teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 large roasting chicken (5-8 lbs.)
Remove that package of yuckiness from inside the chicken (you can save this to boil later to make broth, or just toss it). Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with a towel. Mix all spices together and rub them all over the chicken, inside and out. Place onion and garlic pieces in the body cavity. If you have time, wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 4-24 hours, this really improves the flavor of the meat. When you're ready, place the chicken on a roasting rack (for me, this consists of my cooling rack placed in a pan). Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 5 hours. When done the skin will be brown and crispy but the meat will be moist and delicious. Again, if you have time, let the meat "rest" after you take it out of the oven by covering it loosely with foil for 15-20 minutes. This helps the meat to absorb juices that would run out if you cut it immediately.
This recipe requires you to get really friendly with a complete chicken that looks like something that was once alive and is now dead. I was a little afraid to do this at first and I still crinkle my nose as I handle the raw chicken, but I promise it's worth it.
Note: As soon as we are done eating, I put everything (carcass, extra meat, pan juices, onions and garlic from cavity and "packet of yuckiness") into a large stock pot and cover it with water. I let it simmer for several hours while I clean up, put the boy to bed, whatever. Before bed, I put a strainer over a gallon-size pitcher and pour the contents of the pot in. Once I've squeezed all of the stock out I pick out all the meat I can find and put it right into the pitcher with the stock. Cover the pitcher with a lid and put it in the fridge. Throw everything else away. When you're ready to use the stock, skim the fat off the top and discard it. The stock will have a "jelly-like" consistency, this is normal, it will liquefy as it heats. Use the stock the same way you would a can of chicken broth. You may need to add salt and you can usually water it down a bit as it is a bit more concentrated than what you find at the store.