1. Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
One great whole, great roasted chicken dish is to first,Preheat oven to 375' F. then wash the chicken inside and out. Stuff the bird with aromatics, such as chopped onion, garlic, rosemary, carrots, etc. Dry the chicken outside with paper towels. season by lightly sprinkling the whole outside of the bird with onion powder, garlic powder, sage, thyme, S&P.
Separate ten strips of bacon. place the chicken on a rack, inside your roasting pan. Lay the bacon from front to back on the chicken so that you completely cover the top and sides with the bacon. Insert a thermometer that can stay in the bird into the thickest part of the breast, pushing down to, but not touching the leg joint. Place the bird into the hot oven and roast without a cover for 12 minutes per pound.
When the time is up, remove the bacon from the chicken skin and allow to sit in the roasting pan. Place the bird back into the oven and roast until the thermometer reads 160' F. This will give the skin time to brown and crispy up.
When the bird is done, remove it, rack and all to a serving platter and let rest for ten minutes. While it rests, make gravy. Add 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms into a heavy frying-pan with 3 tbs. butter. Stir-fry until softened. Add tree tbs. flour and stir to form a roux. Cook the roux until it turns blonde. Pour off the drippings and fond into a heavy frying pan. Slowly add chicken stock while stirring until the gravy is as thick as you want. Serve with baked sweet potato, a little honey-butter, and your favorite, leafy-green veggie.
2. Spatchcoked Chicken
This chicken is butterflied, and then can be perfectly cooked on the grill, or in the oven. The technique for opening up the chicken is here -
Once you have spatchcocked the chicken, season it inside and out with S&lemon-pepper, and bake or barbecue as normal. Slather with your favorite bbq sauce 5 minutes before it's done. As this chicken already tastes of lemon-pepper, might I suggest a honey-lemon sauce?
Of course you can season with any sauce, or mop that your prefer. You can brine this bird as well.
3. Deep Fried Chicken
Use a turkey fryer for this one, outdoors. I have never deep fried a whole chicken. I am sure that there is someone on DC who has and can give you a great recipe, with instructions.
4. Lardooned Chicken
Lardoons are pieces of pork fat, usually bacon, that are inserted into small slits in the chicken breasts, or whatever protein you are using. As the bird roasts, the fat melts and serves to both flavor and add moisture to the meat, but bastes the skin with molten fat, which helps crisp it up nicely.
Simple cut bacon into small pieces. Use a pointed, thin knife (like a fillet knife) to poke slits all over the top and sides of the chicken. With a butter knife, push the pices of fat into the slits. Season with S&P, garlic, sage, and whatever suits you fancy, and roast until the meat thermometer reads 160. Remove, let rest, and serve.
Whenever I carve a whole bird after cooking, I do it on a cutting board in the kitchen. I carve both breasts from the bird, and cut out the legs and wings at the body joints. I bone the thighs, remove the meat from the back, and slice the breasts accross the grain so that everyone gets some of the yummy skin. I also do that with cooked turkeys.
The back meat in those little pockets at the leg and wing joints is choice. Save those for someone special.
Lastly, should you decide to debone one or more of those birds, brown the carcass in the oven, then break the bones and throw them into a pot of water to cover. Add a couple carrots, cut into chunks, rough-cut onion, and a stalk of celery. Simmer for an hour or so to make a great broth for soups, sauces, and gravies. The chicken meat can be then used for anything involving chicken.
Hope this gives you a couple of good ideas you can use and expand upon.
Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North