Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450° F. Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan. Pat the chicken dry and place it in the pan. Tuck the wings beneath the chicken, as if it were placing its arms behind its head.
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, curry, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne in a small bowl. Add the oil and combine. Use your fingers to carefully loosen the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Spread the spice mixture evenly under the skin. Place the cilantro inside the cavity.
Roast for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup water and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 165° F on a meat thermometer, about 40 minutes more.
Use a spatula to loosen the chicken. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer the bird to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. If making a pan sauce, reserve the drippings