Chicken roasted with forty cloves of garlic and merguez sausages

Chicken roasted with forty cloves of garlic and merguez sausages

By
From
Moorish
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

In this well-known French peasant dish, garlic is cooked in its skin and becomes all velvety smooth and creamy, with none of the overwhelming pungency the title of the dish might suggest. In our view there is nothing better than squeezing out the hot garlic cream over the roasted bird, or smearing it onto bread. You don’t have to be literal about counting out forty cloves, but do, at the very least, use a whole head. Little Merguez sausages are from North Africa, and are usually bright red with chilli and other spices, adding a further spicy dimension to the dish.

Traditionally, this dish is cooked using a whole bird, but sometimes it’s nice to ring the changes and use Marylands or chicken pieces, in which case cut the cooking time back to around 40 minutes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
salt and pepper
1.2kg corn-fed or free-range chicken
or 4 marylands
garlic, (or 40 cloves, if you insist)
8 merguez sausages
8 shallots, whole
8 small potatoes, or potato chunks, parboiled
4 tomatoes, halved
2 hungarian peppers, halved, with the stalks still attached
1 teaspoon Taklia
few sprigs rosemary
10 strands saffron
1/2 lemon, juiced
100ml water or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sauté until golden. Remove from the pan.
  3. Separate the cloves out of each head of garlic, leaving their thin papery skins on. Put the garlic into the pan with the sausages and put everything on the heat until both sausages and garlic colour lightly. Tip them out of the pan and keep with the chicken.
  4. Turn the heat right up and add the shallots, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, taklia and rosemary. Mix the saffron with the lemon juice and pour into the pan with the water or chicken stock. Stir so that everything is nicely combined.
  5. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little salt and pepper and sit the chicken on top. Tuck in the sausages and garlic cloves, and place the dish into the centre of the oven. Cook for around 60 minutes, or until the chicken is done.
  6. Bring the casserole dish to the table and serve the chicken immediately with a bowl of buttered rice or noodles and a green salad. Make sure you have plenty of crusty baguettes on hand for smearing with the garlic.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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