1 whole roaster chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 onions, quartered lengthwise
10 garlic cloves, peeled
6 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Rinse chicken pieces; pat dry. Brush chicken with butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a small roasting pan. Arrange onions, garlic, and thyme sprigs over and under chicken. Roast; after 20 minutes, baste with pan drippings. Continue roasting until chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a platter, and set aside.
Pour pan drippings through a sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Arrange onions and all but three garlic cloves around chicken on platter. Whisk remaining garlic cloves with pan juices. Strain juices again; discard solids. Pour sauce over chicken; serve garnished with thyme sprigs.
SOURCE: MARTHA STEWART LIVING, JANUARY WINTER 2004