- 1 chicken 3-4 pounds
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 peeled garlic cloves
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- For Gravy:
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. sherry (optional)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup cream
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Put the garlic, thyme and lemon halves inside the cavity of chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, on rack of roasting pan. Brush the chicken with melted butter.
2. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the skin turns brown, and until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (away from the bone) registers 170 degrees. This will take about 1½ hours. Remove from oven, and transfer chicken to an ovenproof platter.
3. To make gravy, pour the pan juices into a glass measuring pitcher and let stand for one minute. Take 2 tablespoons of the fat from the surface and return it to the pan. Set the pan on the stove top over medium heat, add the flour, and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Drizzle in the sherry, if using, and stock and cook, stirring to scrape up the flavorful bits from the bottom and sides of the pan, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in the mustard, if using.
4. Carve the chicken and serve with gravy.