4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 lb. free-range chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Smear the butter all over the bird with your hands. Put the chicken in a roasting pan that will accommodate it with room to spare. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over the chicken’s skin the juice of the lemon.
- Put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity, together with the squeezed-out lemon halves—this will add a fragrant, lemony flavor to the finished dish.
- Roast the chicken in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Baste, then turn down the oven temperature to 375° and roast for a further 30–45 minutes with further occasional bastings. The bird should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin and have buttery, lemony juices of a nut-brown color in the bottom of the pan.
- Serve simply with rice, lentils or roasted vegetables.