Monday, 14 November 2011

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Lots of Garlic, and I permit you to have a snog afterwards
I actually love the name of this bold recipe. Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic sounds quite straightforward and to the point, but rest assured you won't be wearing eau de garlic for days afterwards. Something dreamy happens the garlic cloves. They turn into little nuggets of sweet meltiness that spread like velvet on crusty bread once eased out of their jackets. That bread which will mop up the liquor from the pot that once held the lightly perfumed chicken. When I hear the term 'French classic' I think it's going to be an arduous sweat in the kitchen involving lots of pots and pans and work. Not so, this is a super easy although the results taste like labour intensive food love slavery.

Roast Chicken is one of my favourite dishes and I have to say, I detest 'all the trimmings' I prefer roast chicken, nice gravy and one veg. The traditional way to eat a roast, in my experience, is to have a plate piled high with 4 different vegetables, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, stuffing and gravy. That's not for me. I prefer to savour one or two flavours and enjoy them without confusing my taste buds. So this dish needs nothing more than one veg, (I chose glazed carrots) and some crusty bread. I believe sourdough seems to be a popular choice, but all I had was regular French loaf which sufficed perfectly fine.
I browned the chicken for the purposes of the photo, next time,
I'll prob place the chicken into the pot, breast down,
my favourite way to cook chicken.

I researched a few recipe so here's my take on roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

40 cloves of garlic....d'oh (about three bulbs, jackets in tact, papery excess removed)
One free range chicken
bouquet garni (I used fresh parley, sage, thyme, Rosemary and a bayleaf tied with a string)
wedge of lemon
2 tablespoons of brandy
one cup of white wine
one cup of chicken stock

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius

The finished product, so delicious and fun to eat too.

 In a large cast iron pot, heat a decent glug of olive oil and brown the breast side of the chicken, this isn't necessary, but is nice for the purpose of aesthetics and crispy skin lovers. Once the chicken is browned, lift out with a tongs and stuff with a bouquet garni and a wedge of lemon and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and set aside. In the same pan, add two tablespoons of brandy, the wine and stock and bring to the boil, scraping the bits on the bottom left from the chicken. Turn off the heat and add in the garlic cloves and place the chicken on top. Cover with a lid and put it in the oven for 60 mins. After that time, remove lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. Lift out the chicken and allow to rest for a few minutes. Scoop out the garlic and thicken the liquor with one heaped teaspoon of flour, whisk like mad until the lumps disappear. This gravy, without doubt, is the best gravy I've ever tasted. Serve the chook in the centre of the table and make it a messy but fun food event using the bread as a host to the amazing flavours this dish has to offer.


  1. That sounds and looks delicious! Hubs hates garlic but I think when baked it loses it's intensity. Might try and trick him with this some Sunday!

  2. Well done Helena.... i can almost smell it off the computer here....nom nom

  3. Thanks guys, only blog the stuff that Really impresses me. It's well worth trying