Note the important work areas of your kitchen, such as the sink and counter space. Set up your ladder near these areas and make a mark on the ceiling from where lights could shine where needed. Spacing these points at least 4 feet away from each other is the typical arrangement.
Set up your laser level on the ceiling and adjust all of the marks according to the straight line given by the laser level. Try to place the marks along a major visual axis in your kitchen, such as from the center of windows to doors on the opposite end of the room.
If you have an attic above your kitchen, unwrap a coat hanger to use as a guide. Insert one point of the coat hanger through one of the marks and shove the wire about a foot up into the ceiling. Go into the attic above the kitchen and look for the coat hanger. When you find it, check that there are at least 4 inches on either side of the hole, which should be enough for a recessed light to fit in. If there isn't, return to the kitchen and move the mark as needed. Repeat this process for all of the marks that indicate where a recessed light should go.