Rinse the chicken thoroughly inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. Combine the salt and herbs and rub them all over the outside of the chicken. Place it in a roasting pan and cover. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning it over once after about 24 hours.
(If your roasting pan doesn't have a lid, you can cover yours with aluminum foil and pinch it snugly around the edges of your pan.)
Remove the cover. Discard any liquid in the pan, and give it a rinse. Place the chicken or turkey on a rack in the roasting pan, breast side up. Season with pepper. Let sit at room temperature for two hours.
Preheat the oven to 500F. Brush the chicken all over with melted butter. (You can melt the butter by placing it briefly in the preheating oven. Don't forget about it, though!) Roast, uncovered, on lower rack in oven until the breast is golden brown, 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Reduce temperature to 350F. Pour water into pan. Cover. Return to oven, and roast until the internal temperature reads 165 F, about 2 ½ hours total cooking time for a 7-pound bird.
Remove chicken or turkey from oven. Tilt to empty cavity juices into pan. Let rest, tented with foil, 20 minutes before carving.
An hour before your chicken or turkey has finished cooking, you may add some root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions to the pan for a complete meal.