Chicken With Forty Cloves of Garlic
Easy Roasted Chicken with Mellowed Garlic Cloves
- Servings: 4.
This simple roast chicken cooks in less than an hour, surrounded by a bounty of unpeeled cloves of garlic. While it may seem like this is a lot of garlic and would overpower the chicken's flavor, in fact the cloves cook to an almost sweet, nutty taste and soft texture that nicely compliment the bird.
Adding a seasoned butter under the skin helps keep the breast meat from drying out. As with any roast chicken recipe, the better the chicken, the better the result, so try to buy an organic one.
- 1 whole chicken, preferably organic (about 4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt, kosher or sea salt, plus extra to season the cavity
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
- 40 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Remove giblets and rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season the cavity with a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
- Cut the whole garlic bulb in half and place inside the cavity.
- In a small dish, combine the softened butter with 1 tablespoon salt and several grinds of black pepper.
- Using your fingers, gently lift the skin that is above the breast meat, separating it so as to create a pocket where you insert knobs of the seasoned butter. Spread equal amounts over each breast, saving about 2 teaspoons of the butter to rub all over the outside of the bird.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Roast the chicken, basting occasionally with pan juices, for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and scatter the unpeeled garlic cloves around the chicken. Return to the oven and continue roasting for about 30 minutes more, or until the skin is golden brown and an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 F. The garlic cloves will have become golden and soft.
- Transfer the chicken and garlic cloves to a platter or cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Carve the chicken and serve with several garlic cloves and toasted slices of baguette.