I remember, ruefully, an adolescent epiphany realized much too late: that the skin of a roasted chicken is some sort of savory candy. For years, I'd forfeited, unawares, the crunchy exterior, blinded by a flesh-driven tunnel vision that took me straight to a juicy thigh, a tender breast. In no way was I losing out — the meat of a well-roasted roasted chicken is no consolation prize — but in my haste I was misguided. Herein lies the beauty and magic of a roast chicken: There is always a new way to enjoy it, a new part that deserves appreciation.

Taste aside, there's something quite romantic about a roasted chicken. It's rustic and refined, equal parts primal and prim; the whimsy of a whole bird in the oven. As a meal a roast chicken is plentiful, it can serve many at once, or one for many days. I like to shred my roast chicken into a creamy salad for sandwiches and afternoon snacks, roast and boil the bones for a caramel-colored stock, and stir strings of meat into a sumptuous tortilla soup.

Don't be a stranger to the roast chicken this fall. Think about novel combinations of herbs and spices and pastes to take the bird in direction you wish — just don't forget the crispy bits.

1. Misoyaki roast chicken with shoyu onion sauce

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

2. Spatchcocked and braise-roasted chicken

(Courtesy Food52)

3. Honey-roasted chicken with garlic, lavender, and roasted vegetables

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

4. Renee Erickson's roast chicken with brown butter and lemons

(Kristy Mucci/Courtesy Food52)

5. Roasted butterflied chicken with cardamom and yogurt

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

6. Miso and honey-butter roast chicken

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

7. The best roast chicken with garlic and herb pan sauce

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

8. Barbara Kafka's simplest roast chicken

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

9. Melissa Clark's feta-brined roast chicken

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

10. Wishbone roast chicken with herb butter

(Courtesy Food52)

This story was originally published on Food52.com: Roast chicken: 1 bird, 10 ways.