40 Cloves of Garlic Roasted Chicken – Vampires Beware

28 10 2013

Ever since we went to the garlic festival a couple of months ago I have been wanting to make this recipe. I have read about it in Larousse Gastronomique, which is hailed as the ‘World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia”. My brother and Sister in Law bought me a 70s edition for my birthday a couple of years ago and I love it. If you love cooking, this is one of the must-have books on your shelf. It outlines every French cooking technique and provides recipes on all classic French dishes. So I have been thinking about this recipe for some time.. waiting until Ontario garlic is in season. That stuff from China in the grocery store isn’t really worthy and I hate to buy it. I was holding out.

There are many species of garlic, all producing slightly different flavours and clove size. I used 4 heads of garlic which produced about 7 cloves of garlic per head. It wasn’t anywhere near the 40 clove count, but these were monstrous cloves, so it made up for it.

This recipe also outlines the perfect way to roast a chicken (capon). I will NEVER roast a chicken any other way from now on. I have, in the past, had dry chicken with crispy skin, OR juicy chicken but no crispy outer bits. This was the perfect combo of OMG juicy and OMG crispy chicken skin to pick at.

I also will always buy a capon. They are larger than a roaster chicken, and usually start around the 5 lb mark. They are slightly cheaper per pound, and because of the added size, I think come out juicer when you roast them. The extra chicken I have left over I will translate into another night’s dinner. See my post later this week on chicken and broccoli casserole. A comfort food classic that I have de-carbed and paleo-ized.


40 Cloves of Garlic Roasted Chicken

adapted from Larousse Gastronomique

1 chicken/capon, 5 lbs (I prefer a capon, as they are juicer & slightly bigger)
1 lemon, sliced in half
4 bulbs of garlic, dismantled and skins removed ~ loads-o-cloves
1.5 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
fresh thyme
salt and pepper

(not an exhaustive list of ingredients, right??)

Plop chicken on a plate on the counter for 20 minutes to bring up it to room temp and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Give the bird a good rinse, and pat dry. Get the butter out of the fridge and work it until it is soft. Lather up the bird on both sides with butter, like you are applying suntan lotion.
Wash hands.
Separate all the stems from the thyme by running your pinched fingers up the stem and pushing off all the leaves of flavour and use maybe 3 tbsp of fresh thyme and smear it all over the bird. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and tie bird up if you so choose or leave as is. Place cut lemon inside of bird cavity and plop bird into roasting pan.

Add the cloves of garlic around the bird, and the stock. Pop into the oven.
So the times and temperature will seem a bit crazy, but there is a method to my madness:

~ so for the next 15 minutes – uncover chicken into a 350 degree oven

~ timer beeps

~ cover chicken with foil-lid, and cook for the next 25 minutes at 350

~ timer beeps

~ baste chicken with fluids & uncover chicken and roast chicken at 450 degrees from 35 – 50 minutes**

**I set the timer for 20 minutes in, and shoved a meat thermometer into the bird so I could tell when it hit 165 plus degrees. I checked it to baste and to top up stock around the chicken. At this point all the garlic cloves are all squishy, so I smeared some on the outside of the chicken skin. Delicious.

Take out and leave on counter for 20 minutes so the internal temperature comes up to 170 and all the juices re-distribute into the bird.

NOW.. the pan juices – OMG the pan juices are nusto yummy on this. I skimmed off some of the obvious fat, and then proceeded to MASH the yielding garlic cloves into the pan juices scrapping all the bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. No thickener required.

We carved the bird, threw some broccoli on the side, nibbled on some garlic chicken skin and poured garlic pan juices over the whole thing.
There was complete and utter silence last night at dinner. Best chicken I have ever eaten.




4 responses

30 01 2015
Jim Polichak from Long Island

No offense but this is not a recipe for garlic lovers. When I make “40 Clove Chicken” I never count the cloves ~ nor the bulbs. I read several ways of making it several years ago and decided to incorporate all of them. So the day before I make it I riddle the bird with cloves of garlic by stabbing it all over with a knife large enough to make a stab that lets me insert whole cloves of garlic. How many? Depends on the size of the chicken, how many bulbs I have, my mood, and maybe what was on the news that day. To allow the garlic juices to seep into the bird I rough up the cloves a bit first.
The day it goes into the oven I stuff the bird with large whole bulbs of garlic that have the top quarter inch or so cut off. How many? As many as will fit. I serve the blubs with slices of a buttered toasted baguette. Make your own garlic bread at the table.
In a fashion similar to this recipe I make an over-sized bed of garlic cloves and place the chicken upon and within it.
Serve only to other garlic lovers!

21 02 2015


This is based on a traditional French recipe aptly named 40 cloves of garlic chicken. If you have beef with this then you need to resurrect Julia Child.

21 02 2015

Oye, I’m so making this tomorrow!! Freshco next to me has whole chickens on sale, $2.00/lb.

21 02 2015

So so good!! The gravy is unreal

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