Ahhh...the dry chicken. Yuk.
Myself, I'll take all the help I can get when I'm cooking. If your anything like me, you may want to order one of these in oven meat thermometer.
I've also found that it helps to buy the smaller birds. They usually cook and taste much better (to me). I've found many of the larger birds (which look like they were on steroids. hmmm!)...but I've found that these birds can be extremly tough, even when cooked to an appropriate temperature.
If your doing chicken breast (no matter on the grill, oven or whatever. Season how ever you would like (but if your using iodized ssalt...get rid of it or save it for popcorn and get some course Kosher salt (non-iodized). After seasoning the breast, put the thermometer in the largest section of the meat which is near the center.
Cook at 325-335 or do a quick sear on the grill (two minutes each side over high direct heat) then move an area of indirect heat, trying to maintain near the same temp. Set the temperature on the thermomter for 160f.
After the timer goes off...poke around and "check" to make sure that you are indeed in the "cool" spot for the temperature probe. Once you ensure that you are...remove the bird and let it sit for ten minutes. During this time the temperature will actually rise some. As time goes on you can make adjustments that you feel comfortable with.
If your cooking a (YUM) whole bird. I like to liberaly season the outside of the bird with Course salt, fresh pepper and whatever other seasons are catching my taste buds. Then stuff the inside cavity with a halved onion, some halved garlic, carrots, basil, parsly, rosemary...whatever you want. Then lightly put some olive oil on the bird (both sides). Then rub the bird.
Now, when cooking a whole bird you want to cook the breast meat to the same 160f. But you also want to cook the dark meat to 180f. You want to pay careful attention to cook the dark meat to the appropriate (safe) temperature, without overcooking the breats. What I like to do on all birds, even small ones, is to use a trick some people use for large turkeys. I flip the bird over, breast side down. I also like to use a pan that is just a bit larger than the bird. Most often for small chickens I just use a decent size ALL METAL WITH NO NON-STICK COATING, such as the calphalon hard anodized pans. The main thing is that they are safe to use in the oven at higher temperatures. But don't use a giant roaster on a small bird.
Now stick the meat thermometer in what you "believe" to be the thickest area of the thigh nearest the inner cavity. Set the temperature probe to 180f. Once the temperature probes indicates 180F, move it around to ensure that it is indeed in the coolest area of the thigh.
Onethe probe has reached the desired temp...you take it out and let it sit for ten minutes. After that time has passed go ahead and carve the bird.
If you like...you can also make a sauce for the bird using the pan it was cooked in. (I'm sure many here will be able to offer much better suggestions!) What I do...is pour off the juices from the pan in a measuring cup and let the fat seperate to the top. While this is happening...I'll take wine and deglaze the pan scraping up all the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has reduced to a syrup consistancy I will remove whatever fat that had risen to the top of the measuring cup...then pour the remaining juices in with the pan. Stir for a bit...turn the heat off...throw in a little bit O butter and the juice of one half lemon...stir again. Then pour atop your chicken.
I really think that cooking with a thermometer is a good idea to help you. Once you get comfortable cooking your meats both on the grill and in the oven...then you can choose to cook by site, or touch, or internal clock.
happy cooking :)
Forgot to add...don't throw away the carcus. WHatever is left..use it to make some chicken stock...which you may later...use in a sauce for your chicken.