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Forty Clove Garlic Chicken.

I saw a recipe like this on a recipe news group about five years ago. More recently Nigel Slater in his "Real Food" series had something similar but he put his garlic cloves unpeeled around the chicken in the roasting tin. This is my version and will be followed next week by a wonderful vegetable dish made with the meat juices from this recipe.


Prepare your chicken for roasting as usual. Untuck the skin from the neck end of the chicken and work your hand in lifting the skin from the breast. Be careful not to break the skin. Put some butter up on the breasts under the skin. Resecure the skin at the neck end of the bird. You can massage the butter to spread it out a bit if you like. Season the bird with salt and pepper, rub it into the skin.

Now for the garlic. The number of cloves will depend on the size of your chicken and on the size of the cloves themselves. You are going to put them in the main cavity, but as with stuffing if you put too many in they will not cook properly. You want not much more than a single layer of them in the main cavity. A good way to peel them is to cut the top and tail off them then squash them slightly with the blade of a broad knife or cleaver. The skin then comes away from the clove very easily. Put the peeled garlic into the main cavity of the chicken.

Now roast as usual, we go for 190C for 1.5 to 2 hours. You probably know best what your oven will do. When done the cloves will be soft and surprisingly mild. I spoon them out and serve a few on each plate. The chicken itself will have taken up the garlic taste too. You can make a fantastic gravy from the juices in the bottom of the roasting pan or wait until the next recipe for another use for them.

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Last updated by : Andy Jackson on 08/12/13
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