The Perfect Roast Chicken

(5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
2 lemons cut into quarters
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
6 – 8 cipollini onions, peeled
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
8-10 fingerling potatoes
Olive oil
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, lemon wedges, fennel, cipollini onions and a hand full of thyme sprigs in the bottom a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Total roasting time is 2 hours. First roast the chicken for 1 hour and then add the chicken broth and the fingerling potatoes and baste the chicken. Roast 1 more hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables. If you like, make a gravy from the pan drippings with a roux and serve along side the roast chicken.

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