Forty cloves garlic and tarragon chicken with roasted vegetables

Forty cloves garlic and tarragon chicken with roasted vegetables

By
From
Have You Eaten
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Billy Law

This is classic French comfort food and a recipe that I was inspired to make after watching one of my food idols, Nigella Lawson, prepare it on tv. Just how does Nigella manage to still look so effortlessly sexy while stuffing a chicken cavity with forty cloves of garlic?

Don’t be afraid of the number of garlic cloves used in this recipe, because the flavour of the garlic mellows and sweetens after roasting. Squeeze the roasted garlic over the vegies or chicken for extra flavour. Leftovers can be stored in a jar filled with oil and sprigs of thyme, to use on pizza, pasta or bread.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 garlic bulbs
1.5kg whole free-range chicken
50g butter, softened
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs tarragon
olive oil

Roasted vegetables

Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch dutch carrots
6 baby onions, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
6 small beetroots, unpeeled, washed and halved

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Give the whole garlic bulbs a good whack using the palm of your hand to separate the cloves. It doesn’t matter if you have more than 40 garlic cloves — who’s counting?
  2. Place the chicken on a chopping board with the cavity facing you, and gently push your fingers through the gap under the skin to loosen it from the breasts. Rub half of the butter on the breasts underneath the skin. Rub some salt and pepper inside the cavity, then stuff it with the tarragon sprigs and half of the garlic cloves (you can leave the skin on the garlic cloves). Truss the chicken to close the cavity.
  3. Rub the remaining butter all over the chicken, then season with salt and pepper, and give the chicken a good massage.
  4. Place the remaining garlic cloves in a roasting dish, drizzle with some olive oil, then place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and put them in another roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil, then put the dish on the bottom rack in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking.
  6. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a serving platter and surround it with the roasted garlic and vegetables. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve the roast chicken with the garlic cloves; squeeze the soft mellow garlic flesh out of the skins.
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