About this recipe:As far as herbs go, I think fresh thyme works best with chicken. I sometimes add four or five bulbs of green garlic (young garlic that looks like baby leeks) when it's in season and if I find it at the farmers' market.
2 whole chickens
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
6 shallots, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
100g (4 oz) butter, softened
8 sprigs fresh thyme
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Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Pierce lemons several times with a fork, and place 1 inside each chicken cavity. Arrange chickens in the centre of the prepared baking dish. Place onions, shallots and garlic around the chickens. Sprinkle vegetables with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread butter over the chickens, and line each with thyme sprigs.
Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Increase temperature to 200 C / Gas mark 6, and continue baking 30 minutes, or until exterior of chicken is golden brown, meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.
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