1 4- to 5-pound chicken, preferably free range
1 lemon, sliced
1 bulb garlic, 1⁄2 cloves peeled, 1⁄2 unpeeled
Herb butter, combine the following:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 heaping teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
Do ahead: Spatchcock the chicken and leave it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. This will help the skin get nice and crispy. To spatchcock, cut the spine out of the chicken using kitchen shears or a very sharp chef’s knife. Turn the chicken over and press down on the breast until the breastbone snaps and the chicken is flat.
To roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 F. Lay the chicken in a shallow roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on a bed of the lemon slices and the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Stuff half of the herb butter under the breast and thigh skin; smear the other half over the skin. Stuff the peeled garlic cloves under the skin. Roast uncovered on a middle rack for 30-35 minutes, until the skin is brown and crispy and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F.