Rubbing a simple lemon-and-butter all over a whole chicken before roasting creates super juicy, flavorful meat and crisp skin.
stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
fresh lemon juice
3 1/2-pound whole chicken, patted dry
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.