Garlic Roast Chicken

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 1h 35m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

This makes an incredibly moist chicken. Roasted garlic cloves are pureed with butter and lemon zest; the mixture is then rubbed under the chicken's skin. The result is fork-tender meat that's full of flavor.


  • 20 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 lemons
  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (including stems), chopped coarse
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Madeira


Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Put the garlic cloves and olive oil in an ovenproof container and roast for 1 hour; the cloves should be very soft. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil and set them aside to cool for about 15 minutes; reserve the oil. Turn up the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the garlic cloves, butter, salt and pepper in a food processor; purée until smooth. Transfer the garlic butter to a bowl; stir in the tarragon. Allow the butter to cool to about the same temperature as the chicken, but don't let it harden.

Grate the zest from one of the lemons and then juice it; set the zest and juice aside. Cut the other lemon into 1/4-inch slices.

Stuff the chicken with garlic butter--Rinse the chicken inside and out; pat dry. Start loosening the skin over the breast with your fingers. Go slowly and carefully to avoid tearing the skin. Work your fingers all the way to the thigh joint.

Scoop up some of the garlic butter with your fingers and begin smearing it under the skin, starting at the furthest point in the chicken and working your way toward the front. Be sure you get the butter underneath the skin of the legs and breast. Pat the skin back into place.

Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff some of the parsley, carrots, onion and celery in its cavity. Tuck the wings under the chicken and tie the legs together.

Scatter the remaining parsley, carrots, onion and celery in the roasting pan with the lemon slices. Set the chicken on top, breast side up; sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, basting occasionally with 1 tablespoon of the reserved garlic oil.

Turn the oven up to 425 degrees F. Turn the bird over and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Continue roasting for another 25 to 30 minutes, basting the chicken with its juices. When the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, or the thigh juices run clear, remove the bird from the pan and let it sit on a platter, covered with foil to keep it warm.

Begin making the sauce--While the chicken roasts, pour the remaining garlic oil into a medium frying pan and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Turn the heat to high and sauté the mushrooms until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat but keep warm.

Set the roasting pan, with the vegetables and juices, on the stove over medium heat. Spoon off as much fat as you can. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Let the sauce boil for 5 minutes to concentrate its flavors. Strain the sauce, pressing out all the juices from the solids. Degrease the sauce and set aside.

Return the mushrooms to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the Madeira, let it bubble briefly, and add the sauce and lemon zest. Serve with the chicken.

Recipe reprinted by permission of <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.

RecID 825

nutrition information per serving

704 calories; 43g total fat; 217mg cholesterol; 723mg sodium; 22g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 54g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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