1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons thyme leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
One 3 1/2-pound whole chicken, patted dry
1 lemon, quartered
- Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small bowl, blend the 1/2 stick of butter with the thyme and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper and tuck the lemon inside. Spread one third of the lemon-thyme butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Rub the remaining butter all over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Set the chicken breast side up in a large cast-iron skillet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 160°. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, skim off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan juices. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and cook over moderate heat until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Carve the chicken and transfer to a platter. Spoon the pan sauce on top and serve.
Citrusy Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely with this lemony chicken. Look for one from New Zealand.