Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and salt in a spice grinder and grind to medium fine. Combine with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl.
Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon halves. Rub the outside of the bird with the spice paste.
Drizzle a roasting pan with a few tablespoons of oil. Place the bird and the garlic halves, cut-side down, in the pan.
Roast until the juices run clear at the inner thigh, about 2 hours.
Let the bird rest for 20 minutes before serving.