Preheat oven to 400°F.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Gently work your fingertips under the breast, leg and thigh, and rub meat with salt and pepper (I like to fill a separate little ramekin with a mix of salt and pepper to do this so I don’t get my pepper grinder all chicken-y). Sprinkle more salt and pepper on top of skin and in cavity. Stuff the thyme sprigs under the skin and the lemon halves into the cavity.
Roast on a V-rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, for 50-75 minutes, until the legs pull away easily and the juices run clear. A thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh should read 160°F (the temperature will continue to rise to 165°F after taking it out of the oven).
Let chicken stand at room temperature for 15 minutes (tent it with foil to keep it warm) before carving.