1. Buy a 3 to 4 pound chicken. Pat it dry with paper towels---no need to wash it. (Oh, but remove the guts first, that's important. Usually the guts come in a little bag.)
* NOTE: Look for the best chicken you can at the store: organic, free-range, etc. It makes a big difference.
2. Soften 7 Tbs of butter (leave it out for an hour or two.)
3. Cut up lots of rosemary and garlic and sage together until it's fine, fine, fine. (About 3 cloves garlic, 3 branches rosemary (off the stem) and 5 to 6 leaves of sage.
4. Mash up the garlic, rosemary, and sage into the butter using a fork. Add salt and pepper too.
5. Now shmear that all over the chicken, getting it on the back side, the legs, the thighs, in the cavity, and ESPECIALLY all over and under the breast. When I say under the breast, I mean make a little flap in the breast skin using your finger and shove some of the butter under there. You'll thank me later.
6. If you're a salty person (and I definitely am) sprinkle some more salt over the chicken. Also grind some more pepper.
7. Pop into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. (I put mine in a cast iron skillet, but you can use a roasting pan.) Then lower the heat to 350 and cook another 30 to 40 minutes until it's golden brown and it smells beautiful. Finally, turn off the heat, open the oven door and leave it like that to rest for another 20 minutes (this is a technique from the book, and I think it makes good sense--so the chicken comes to temperature more gradually.)
And that's it! Look how pretty: