I wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I roasted my first bird on Saturday night and it was fantastic! I salted early (~1 tsp / lb), then roasted at 400F for about 40 minutes. I basted the bird part of the way through with it's own fat and then with a few tablespoons of butter at the very end. After carving, I sprinkled it with a bit of Piment d'Ville (basquestyle pepper, grown in Boonville, CA) and some lemon juice.
The skin was AMAZING!! Perfect chicken cracklins! I could have eaten the whole bird's worth. The meat was more complex than your typical storebought bird even the breasts had a ton of flavor which I really enjoyed. My friend said that the chicken tasted like a wild bird, and he meant it in the most complimentary way.
Another note, I really liked that you left the head and feet with the bird. I feel like my emotional connection to sitting down for a meal is very strong, but don't think I've experienced that type of connection with a raw piece of meat before now. Because I could see that the bird I was cooking was a very real animal, cooking it was even more meaningful. That awareness is something that you don't often experience with city living and I'm grateful for it being more thoughtful is always a good thing.
I'll be posting to my blog with photos, plus recipe later in the week and will send you a link. I am also going to try a braise.
Thanks again for this opportunity!