Roasting a whole chicken alongside fragrant lemons adds a fresh springtime twist to a comforting main dish. Serve with a side of spring vegetables such as fava beans or asparagus to round out the meal.
Simple Roast Chicken with Lemons
1 chicken, about 4 1/2 lb. (2.25 kg)
1 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 garlic cloves
3 lemons, halved
1 large fresh thyme sprig
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).
Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Put the garlic, 2 lemon halves and the thyme sprig in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips behind the back. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Put the chicken, breast side up, in a 4 1/2-quart (4.5-l) deep baker. Insert a smart thermometer into the chicken breast according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the remaining lemon halves around the chicken. Cover the baker with the lid.
Transfer to the oven and roast the chicken until the thermometer registers 160°F (71°C), 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, removing the lid during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a gravy boat. Carve the chicken and serve the juices alongside. Serves 4 to 6.