Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. 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, eschalots 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 degrees C 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.
This tasted really great and the family liked it, but I had the same problem I always have with roasting chicken - the clean-up in the oven!!! No amount of foil tenting, various roasting pans or any other contraption I come up with makes much difference. Tastes great, but I probably won't make again for that reason. - 29 Sep 2008
I followed the recipe exactly and yet my chicken wasn't even close to being ready in the amount of time given. We had to cut it apart and continue cooking it, then broiling to get the skin brown. - 29 Sep 2008
The onions were good, but the chicken was unremarkable. - 29 Sep 2008