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Playing Rachael's Italian Roasted Chicken

Rach uses a refrigerator trick for ultra-crispy chicken skin and seasons the bird with classic Italian herbs and spices like rosemary and fennel. This is just one of the recipes she put on the menu to feed hungry firefighters at the 2nd Annual FDNY Firefighter Challenge Event.


  • 12 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons whole fennel seed
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 heads garlic, cut to expose inner tops
  • Fat splash dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Chopped Italian cherry peppers and brine


Serves: 4-6


Place chicken in a roasting pan fitted with a low rack. Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with the chili flakes, fennel seeds and chopped rosemary. Leave uncovered in the fridge overnight to let the skin dry out.

The next day, preheat the oven to 425˚F. Spray or rub the chicken with a small amount of EVOO. (Make sure to pick up the chicken and move it around a little before you put it in the oven so it doesn’t stick to the rack.) Nestle the cut bulbs of garlic into the roasting pan along with the chicken. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through, about 30-35 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a platter and place the roasting pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the white wine and scrape to remove any drippings, then add the stock. Spoon the pan sauce over the chicken and top with the chopped Italian cherry peppers and brine to taste.