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Never-Fail, Flash-Roasted Chicken

A friend of mine and I were discussing our ideas around roasting chickens. She agreed to try my method and was so pleased that I insisted she write it up as a contribution to our food community. Thanks, Elissa!

Todd’s Never-Fail, Flash Roasted Chicken

story and photo credit: Elissa Fisher

Forget the cliché’.  There really is nothing better than the aroma of a chicken being perfectly roasted in the oven, the scents of fresh lemon, rosemary, sage, and thyme mingling with the nutty bouquet of a whole head of garlic gently rubbed with olive oil.  And the result of this simple to prepare comfort food?  Perfectly roasted chicken each time, so tender and moist encased in a golden brown, crispy skin.  Now don’t let the high temperature scare you!  The following is a tried and true recipe for Todd’s Never-Fail Flash-Roasted Chicken.

One serving idea is to roast cut up (2-inch pieces) fennel and onion. Toss them in olive oil along with salt and pepper before roasting. Delicious.


  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds (I prefer Bell and Evans)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees (don’t be afraid!)
  2. Line a ceramic French baking dish with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  3. Massage your chicken all over with evoo, the inside, too.  Salt and pepper the bird all over, inside as well.
  4. Remove some thyme leaves from a sprig, and sprinkle on the chicken.
  5. Roll the lemon on a hard surface to get the juices flowing, prick with a fork, and place in the cavity of the chicken.
  6. Place a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, as well as a few fresh sage leaves, inside the cavity as well.
  7. Slice a head of garlic (or two) to expose the tops of the cloves, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then place next to the chicken in the baking dish.
  8. Place the baking dish on the center rack of the pre-heated oven.  The key: Roast for 15 minutes per pound.  Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted by the thigh, away from the bone.  It should read between 165 and 170 degrees.
  9. Tent chicken with foil and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Then…enjoy the best roast chicken you have ever made in your life!

Serve with crusty bread to use the caramelized garlic cloves as a spread.

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