Roasted chicken with forty cloves of garlic and baguette croutons (Yes, forty cloves.)

Yesterday was National Garlic Day, so I decided to make a dish in homage to the occasion. This recipe is very versatile. You’ll see why when you read below. The chicken was flavorful and very moist. It made me wonder why we don’t make these simple dishes more often.

 

 


Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken (about 4 lbs. I like Murray’s from Publix)
1 lb of baby carrots
1 large onion
40 cloves of garlic (some stores sell them whole and peeled in the produce section)
lots of sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 TB olive oil
1/2 stick of butter
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
6 oz of white wine
1 carton of chicken stock (optional)
1 French baguette

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the onion in half and cut each half into 6-8 big pieces. Toss into a roasting pan. Add the baby carrots, whole. Add the garlic. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and 1/2 tsp of the pepper. Add the olive oil and toss the veggies to coat. Add a few sprigs of rosemary.

Rinse your chicken and remove the giblets. Pat dry. Season the cavity and the outside generously with sea salt and the rest of the pepper. Soften the butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Rub the entire bird with the butter, making sure to get some underneath the skin on the breast. Salt it again. Place in the roasting pan and put a bunch of rosemary in the cavity. You can truss the bird if you like (I’ve trussed many) but I’ve found the thigh cooks faster without trussing. You can always cheat and just tie the legs together for presentation. I didn’t truss any of it, since it was just a weeknight meal. Sometimes I tuck the wings underneath, also. If I want to get really fancy, I remove the wishbone, so the breast will look better when removed and sliced. Who has time for all that during the week, right? This is the quick way.

Roast in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes. When the veggies start to get really brown, add about 6 oz of white wine to the pan. Turn down the heat to 375 and roast for another 30-50 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Add a little more water or stock to the pan if it looks like the veggies are getting too brown. It’s about 20 minutes per pound. Test for doneness by piercing the thigh. If the juices run clear, it is done.

When the chicken is about halfway cooked, Slice about 10-15 slices 1/4 inch thick from the baguette. Brush with a little olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven above the chicken. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Sometimes I make mashed potatoes with this, or just make a gravy to put on the chicken. For the gravy, I’ll take half the cooked veggies and puree them in the blender with juices from the pan or chicken stock, then strain to make a flavorful gravy. Check for seasoning after you do that.

Serve the chicken on a serving platter with the croutons underneath and surrounding the chicken. Place the rest of the veggies around the plate. Pour the juices from the pan over the top. Spread the roasted garlic on the croutons and eat with the chicken. Yummy!

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