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French Recipes: Roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

A plate of cooked skinless chicken with roast garlic and green beansDon’t be scared by the name of this dish – roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic! Yes, you do have to like garlic to enjoy this roast chicken, but the garlic is not over-powering and it’s one of my favourite ways to roast a chicken. As the garlic isn’t peeled and is roasted, then the cloves themselves are lovely and gooey and you can eat them on their own, by squeezing the soft garlic from their skins. The roast chicken is very succulent and the garlic has nicely flavoured the chicken. Give it a try and I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.
I got this recipe from a cookbook called A Little Taste of France and it really is one of my favourite ways to roast chicken.
Serve with green beans, French baguette and potatoes.


  • 40 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 large chicken, about 1.5 kg
  • 2 celery sticks, include the leaves, chopped
  • 2 small or one large carrot, chopped
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 sprigs of Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 275 ml white wine
  • olive oil, salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F.
In the chicken’s cavity, add one of the celery stalks and half of the herbs and 8 cloves of the garlic. Brush the chicken with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Squeeze a couple of the cloves on top of the chicken where the wings and legs have been tucked underneath.
At the bottom of a roasting dish, scatter the carrots, onions and the remaining garlic, celery and herbs. Place the chicken on top. Pour around the chicken the wine and around 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Cover with a lid or aluminium foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. You can check this, by poking the chicken with a knife or skewer in the large part of the thigh, and see if the juices which run out are clear.
Once cooked, place the chicken on a serving dish and allow to rest. Place all the 40 garlic cloves around the roast chicken.
With the remaining juices in the dish, bring to the boil and then simmer gently on the stove for a couple of minutes, to create a sauce.

[note note_color=”#f9f9e9″ text_color=”#6d6e72″]Use your chicken carcass to make Tortellini al Brodo.  Leftover chicken? Perfect for chicken mayo sandwiches[/note]

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