1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
Fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, or thyme (optional)
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the chicken on a work surface or cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut off and discard any extra fat hanging around the body cavity. Drizzle the oil on the chicken and rub it all over the skin. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the lemon and herbs inside the cavity, if using. Place the chicken breast-side up in a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet. Roast the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and continue roasting until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F, about 50 minutes to 1 hour more. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board. Let it rest about 15 to 20 minutes before carving.