This recipe might have an extraordinary amount of garlic and certainly enough to keep any vampires at bay – but once they have been cooked, the garlic flesh becomes very sweet and tender, like a creamy, very flavoursome puree. Squeeze the cloves out and spread over the chicken flesh – then devour!
- 1.5kg free-range chicken
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic bulbs, broken into individual cloves
- 60g butter, softened
- 250ml water
In a freezer bag, add 2 cloves chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, half the thyme and salt and pepper. Put the juiced lemon and thyme in the chicken cavity along with 4-5 cloves unpeeled garlic cloves, then put the chicken in the freezer bag and massage the juice and herbs into the skin. Put in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Separate the cloves from garlic bulbs, leaving peel intact, then place the cloves, in a single layer, in a roasting tin and place chicken on the garlic.
Pour in the water, then roast the chicken, brushing occasionally with the pan juices, for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until cooked through. You can test if the chicken is done by inserting a metal skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices run clear, it’s done.
Make gravy from the chicken juices by adding a glass of wine, a few thyme leaves and 1tsp cornflour mixed into a paste with water to thicken