Simple Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

This will make your house smell wonderful. It’s a quintessential easy-peasy dinner that requires very little work or ingredients. Economical, too!

Ok. Start with your whole chicken. Rinse it well and pat dry, then salt and pepper all sides.

………Ok does anyone else see how much this looks like a really happy dog here? Look. He’s totally smiling.

I am so not a grownup.

Ok, now; the thing about baking a chicken with the lid ON: it won’t get that golden brown crust. So, if you want some color you’ll have to sear the chicken prior to putting it in the oven. This recipe is more about that really juicy chicken flavor and less about the skin, however. 

Grab a dutch oven and put it on the stovetop on medium. Put a little olive oil and a little butter in there when the pan gets hot, and then place the chicken in.

So, that’ll take a while. Around 10-15 minutes for the whole thing. Leave it be to do the browning thing while you get started on the garlic.

Please don’t sit there counting out exactly 40 cloves; the point is just that there is A LOT of garlic, not that it’s an exact number. 

I left a couple of the bulbs whole like that, and then peeled another couple bulbs into individual cloves. 

When the chicken is browned, toss in a small splash of white wine to get off the yummy stuff from the bottom of the pan. 

I added in a small bit of flour at this point just so later when I spoon the pan juices back over the chicken, it’ll be slightly thicker. Not a necessary step though.

Now add in whatever aromatics you have on hand and love. I had rosemary and thyme which go really well with slowly cooked meats.

Now, add in your garlic, and drizzle a little more olive oil on the chicken.

And that’s it! Yay! See? Easy-peasy.

Ok, so pop it into the oven with a lid at 375 until the internal temperature reads about 160-165. The reason I take it out before it gets to 170 is because it tends to rise about 10 degrees even when it’s out of the heat…and there’s nothing worse than dry poultry.

When it’s done, let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This will guarantee a very juicy, moist chicken. Then, serve it up and drizzle the pan juices back over it! 

Holy that cutting board is a disaster. In my defense, I was simultaneously making risotto too (which I’ll post later!)

*Recipe was adapted from The Ultimate Book of Main Course Dishes: Jenni Fleetwood

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

  • 1 whole chicken
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 5-6 bulbs of garlic
  • dry white wine *about 1-2 tablespoons)
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flour
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse your chicken well, then pat dry. Salt and pepper generously on all sides
  2. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a large dutch oven over medium. When hot, add in the chicken and let it sear on all sides. This will take a while so try not to play with it – about 10-15 minutes
  3. With your garlic, leave a couple bulbs whole and just chop off the knobby end to expose the cloves (they’ll roast in the oven). With the other bulbs, separate and peel the garlic
  4. When the chicken is seared on all sides, add a splash of white wine to the pan just to help those brown bits loosen. Then, sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of flour around the chicken. Don’t worry if you can still see some white flecks, the steam in the oven will take care of  it all.
  5. Add in your aromatics (rosemary, thyme or whatever else you want) around the chicken. I used about 3 springs of each but you can use as much as you’d like.
  6. Add in the garlic anywhere where it will fit. That’s it! Fit the dutch oven with a lid, and pop in a 375 oven until your meat thermometer reaches the desired temperature. I take mine out around 160-165 degrees to allow for it to continue to rise.
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