When I mentioned that I’d cooked this to my wonderful French tutor she immediately broke into a huge smile with recognition. Apparently her daughter, half English and half French, is a far bigger garlic enthusiast than she and loves this recipe.
The garlic itself sweetens as you roast it and you serve it with huge chunks of bread; so you can open the cloves and smear their contents onto it for eating. That and a simple green salad with balsamic vinegar makes this a wonderful roast to see on a summers day.
The recipe itself is very simple. I was telling my friend how easy it was even for a roasting novice like myself; she looked at me with eyes wide open. How could I have made it to this age and not cooked a roast chicken??! My answer ‘Toby’ sufficed. Le Marie is a wonderful cook, in fact I refused to stuff the bird with the ingredients and let him do that. If you’ve avoided putting your inside the innards of a chicken until this age I simply think you should continue in that vein don’t you?
Ingredients and Method
2 celery stalks
2 rosemary sprigs
4 thyme sprigs
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 x 1.6kg chicken
40 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small onion cut into 4 wedges
250ml white wine
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/ Gas 6.
- Roughly chop one celery stalk and stuff it, along with 2 sprigs each of the herbs and 6 unpeeled garlic cloves into the chicken’s cavity. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath.
- Scatter about ten more cloves of garlic into the base of the roasting pan or large casserole dish. Put the remaining sprigs of herbs, celery, carrot and onion in their too. Then place the chicken inside the pan and brush liberally with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around the chicken and add the remaining oil and wine to the dish.
- Cover with tin foil or the casserole lid and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.
If you want you can strain off the juices into a saucepan – once you’ve removed the chicken and garlic cloves and placed them onto a serving dish (I just served it as it was as I like balsamic vinegar salad). Spoon the fat from the liquid then boil until reduced to serve with the chicken.