Download Chicken with forty cloves of garlic - Roast
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  • 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 g (3/4 oz) butter
  • 40 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 310 ml (10 3/4 fl oz/1 1/4 cups) good-quality chicken stock
  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) white wine
  • Mashed potatoes and steamed green beans, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Wash the chicken briefly under cold running water, remove the neck and giblets and trim any pockets of fat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the chicken, inside and out, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole over high heat. Add the butter. Cook the chicken for 8 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and discard the oil. Return the casserole to the heat, add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf and stir well. Return the chicken to the casserole, breast side up, with the stock and wine. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

3. Cover the casserole, put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced through the thickest part (between the thigh and body) and the skin is golden. Remove the chicken and half the garlic cloves. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

4. Put the casserole over medium-high heat. Press the remaining garlic with a potato masher to extract the flesh. Bring the sauce to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced to 185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup). Pass through a fine sieve, pressing down on the garlic skins to extract as much flesh as possible. Stir in the reserved garlic.

5. Carve the chicken and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the mashed potatoes and green beans.