Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry, making sure to remove the giblet package in the interior cavity. The drier the chicken, the better, as extra moisture creates steam while cooking. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and add the lemon wedges, a couple shallot halves, and 7 or 8 sprigs of fresh thyme. Rub the chicken all over with butter and season generously with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and extra thyme leaves.
Truss the chicken with butchers twine (see above for more details) and place the chicken in a roasting pan or ovenproof sauté pan. Scatter the remaining shallots in the pan.
Roast the chicken for a little over an hour, or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature (taken at the deepest portion of the thigh) registers 165 degrees F. Cover the bird loosely with foil and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
To carve: Remove the twine and, using a sharp knife and a fork, pull out each leg and gently cut along the joint. The joint bone will pop out: that’s where you want to slice. The thigh and the leg will be connected, so separate each piece into two (thigh and drumstick). To remove the breast meat, carefully carve along the breastbone on each side, using a fork to steady you. The wings will still be attached, so you will need to cut those off. Slice each breast into two to three pieces so everyone can have some white meat.
Serve with roasted potatoes (recipe below) and a simple green salad with Dijon vinaigrette.