Makes 8 to 10 servings

Notes: To make your own poultry rub, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons each dried thyme and dried oregano with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, kosher or sea salt, and coarse-ground pepper. For adult tastes, spread a layer of goat cheese beneath the breast skin.

How to Make It

Step 1

Reserve chicken giblets for other uses. Pull off and discard lumps of fat from chickens. Rinse birds inside and out and pat dry.

Step 2

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon poultry rub in each bird's body cavity. Place 1/2 the onion, lemon, and parsley in each chicken. Pin body cavities shut with small metal skewers.

Step 3

If using cheese, starting at the neck, gently push your fingers under skin of each breast to loosen skin. Spread 5 ounces cheese under skin of each chicken, pressing to form an even layer over breast.

Step 4

Rub skin of each chicken all over with 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the remaining poultry rub. Set chickens, breasts up, at least 2 inches apart on a rack in an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan.

Step 5

Roast in a 400° oven until a thermometer inserted through thickest part of thigh to joint registers 175°, about 65 minutes (about 55 minutes in a convection oven).

Step 6

Using pot holders to protect your hands, tilt chickens to drain juices into pan. Set chickens on a platter and let rest in a warm place 10 to 15 minutes. Stir pan juices to release browned bits; skim and discard fat, and pour drippings into a small bowl. Carve chicken and serve with juices.

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