- 1 chicken (3 1/2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1/3 cup dry white wine, or water or chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with a rack, set aside. Rub chicken all over with garlic and then with 2 tablespoons butter. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place garlic cloves and lemon pieces inside the cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place chicken on rack in prepared pan and tuck the wing tips under. Roast until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a platter, and discard twine. Keep warm.
- Place roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat, and stir in the wine, thyme, and any accumulated juices from the platter. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. If desired, stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Pass through a fine mesh sieve. Serve sauce with the chicken.
To keep the chicken in an attractive shape, tuck the wings underneath, and tie the legs together with kitchen string.