3 lb whole chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 vanilla bean, split down the center
4 Tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Place the lemon, onion, and vanilla bean inside the chicken.
Place a cast iron pan, lighted coated with olive oil, over a burner on high. Allow the pan to get hot, and then place the bird in the pan, breast side down, to sear for approximately 4 minutes. The pan will spit and sputter. Allow that to happen and do not disturb the chicken.
Move the pan to the hot oven and allow it to roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 (see my notes on roasting above).
When the chicken is done roasting, transfer it to a cutting board or serving dish to cool for at least 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooling, make the brown butter sauce. Remove any large bits and some of the drippings from the pan. You don't have to be too diligent, as leaving some drippings will add a nice flavor to the sauce.
Place the pan back on the stovetop over medium high heat and add to it the butter, bay leaves, and vanilla bean (you have to pull it back out of the chicken). Allow the butter to brown, then remove it from the heat, strain it, and transfer it to a dish for the table. Drizzle a bit of sauce over the chicken before serving. You can also squeeze some of the roasted lemon juice over the chicken for a touch of citrus.