5 1/2 to 6 lbs. whole free-range roaster
kosher or coarse sea salt
cracked black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. chicken broth or stock
1/2 C. dry red wine
1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into -inch slices
1 T. of unsalted butter (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450°F, setting the rack at the middle level.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper and 2 sprigs of the thyme. Rub the outside with the softened butter and season with salt, pepper, and the leaves of the remaining sprigs of thyme.
Combine the broth and wine in a measuring cup or pitcher. Scatter the carrot chunks and onion slices on the bottom of a roasting pan.
Place the chicken breast side up on the adjustable roasting rack and set it in the pan. Roast for 10 minutes.
Baste with about 2 tablespoons of the wine and broth mixture and turn the chicken on its side. Baste, and roast for 10 minutes. Baste again and turn the chicken on its other side. Baste and roast for an additional 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350°F, baste again, and roast for 15 minutes. Baste, turn the chicken onto its other side, and continue roasting for 15 minutes.
Turn the chicken breast side up and baste. Continue roasting for an additional 40 to 50 minutes or until done, basting every 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the accumulated cooking juices and vegetables from the roasting pan into a small saucepan, add the pat of butter, and place over low heat, keeping the mixture warm.
Carve the chicken and arrange the pieces on a serving platter. Pour the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to extract the liquid, into a warmed sauce boat. Pass the sauce at the table.
Makes 6 servings.