Let’s talk garlic. No, I’m not going to talk about how garlic is great for your health, facilitating detoxification, acting as a powerful antioxidant, stimulating immune responses and reducing inflammation! Let’s only talk about how garlic makes everything taste better and how I buy around 4 heads a week! Yes, I use garlic in everything, for example: rice, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, garlic bread, guacamole, beans, salad dressing, pizza (yes, there’s such a thing as a garlic pizza!), homemade chips (I infuse the frying oil with garlic) and, of course, chicken!
So can you imagine my happiness when I first heard of this dish called Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic? I was actually also a little mad I hadn’t heard about it sooner, but it just isn’t very popular in Brazil. (We do have a filet mignon full of garlic, though… But that will happen on the blog sometime in the future!).
If you are a little intimidated by the “40 cloves” part, don’t be! I promise it is not as overpowering as it sounds. The garlic infuses the chicken with all this amazing sweet pungent flavor and gets all caramelized to the point that is delicious on its own. But you absolutely don’t have to eat the garlic! Leave it for the brave (yeah, that would be me!), but do eat the tasty, moist, smelling like you wouldn’t believe, buttery chicken!
However, if you’re intimidated by the “peeling the 40 cloves of garlic” part, then I’m with you! It is NOT fun… And yes, I’ve tried putting them all between two bowls and shaking it like in the video I’ve watched and guess what? They all kept their skin! So I did have to peel one by one (with the help of my lovely husband) and had my hands smelling like garlic for like 2 days… So if you have any secret technique I don’t know, please tell me! Just don’t send me the “two bowl” video because I’m pretty sure they are either deceiving us or using black magic. I’m almost 100% certain it is the latest…
Apart from peeling the garlic, the rest is easy peasy! You mix the butter with the tarragon (or whatever other herb of your choice, like thyme or parsley) and then rub it underneath the chicken skin and then all over the skin. And then you roast it, with the garlic cloves (I keep 10 of them with the skin because I think they add even more flavor like that), for about 1 hour! The next step would be deglazing the pan with wine and then adding some chicken broth and letting it reduce, adding lemon juice, butter and voila: amazing flavorful gravy!
This is the perfect meal to serve when you have guests. It is delicious, impressive and, at the same time, easy and inexpensive. You just need a side dish and you’re good to go. You could even roast some potatoes with the chicken! Oh God… I can almost taste the potatoes infused with the flavor of the garlic and the chicken juices.
Anyway, I served mine with my Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds. Yes, I know! Garlic bombastic! But we do love garlic here, so it was the perfect combination!
If you haven’t tried this chicken yet, you HAVE TO! Believe me on this one, will ya? This chicken will change your life! (Unless you’re allergic to garlic or something… then it will change your life, but not in a good way…)
Oh, and by the way: good luck keeping it together while your home smells fantastic. My husband kept asking if the chicken was ready every 5 minutes! And then we ate the whole thing by ourselves! (Mind you, this recipe serves 4 people and we are only 2!)
- 4lbs whole chicken
- 40 cloves of garlic, peeled (I left 10 without peeling to increase flavor)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp chopped tarragon
- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter (room temperature) to roast chicken
- 2 Tbsp cold butter for gravy
- Juice ½ lemon
- Preheat over to 450 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the room temperature butter with the tarragon.
- With your fingers, ease the skin away from the chicken and spread some of the butter inside. Spread the rest of the butter on the outside, all over the chicken. Sprinkle some extra salt, if desired.
- Rub a cast iron skillet (or baking dish) with butter and place your chicken in it, breast side up. If desired, tie the drumsticks together with twine.
- Add the garlic around the chicken and bring the skillet to the oven.
- Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the meaty part of a thigh is pricked with a skewer or knife.
- When chicken is ready, remove the chicken and garlic, reserving them and reserve the juices in a separate bowl.
- Bring the skillet to the stove, over medium high heat.
- Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Let it cook until reduced by half and then add the pan juices and the chicken broth. Boil again until reduced to about ¾ cup.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cold butter, which will help thicken the gravy.
- Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Put the chicken and garlic cloves back in the skillet, spooning some of the gravy on the chicken, and serve!