Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F Lightly oil a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet.
Remove the neck and giblets from, then rinse at pat dry 1 whole chicken.
Generously rub the body and neck cavities and sprinkle the skin with salt.
Arrange the chicken breast side up in the pan. Brush the breast and legs with melted butter.
Put the chicken in the oven and roast. If you prize moist breast meat, consider the chicken done when the thickest part of the thigh exudes clear juices when pricked deeply with a fork and registers 170°to 175°F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
If you like the dark meat falling off the bone and are willing to risk a dry breast, roast until the thigh registers 180°F
The total roasting time for a 4-pound bird will be 55 to 65 minutes.
For larger birds, figure 1 hour for the first 4 pounds, plus about 8 minutes for each additional pound.
Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.