One-Tray Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

I’ve not lost my mind. Forty cloves of garlic is not excessive at all. Truth is, when roasted slowly for a long time, whole garlic loses its acrid taste, softens and sweetens. For this chicken dish of French origin, serve with crusty baguette slices to mop up the heavenly juices and to, of course, mash mellow garlic chunks over top.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

I know this picture doesn’t look like I’ve used 40 cloves of garlic, but trust me, they’re there. Here’s proof:

Forty cloves (1)

Yes, I peeled the skins of three heads of garlic. (That’s 41 cloves, by the way.) If that sounds like painfully tedious work, it is. Good news though — you don’t really have to peel the garlic. Let them roast in their skins, and with a gentle squeeze they’ll slip right out.

Conventional versions of this recipe will call for you to brown the chicken skin in hot oil before roasting. I’ve decided to cut out that step and instead let the oven do all the work. Oil only the tops of the chicken and they’ll fry away during roasting.

I also added a few more vegetables to form a sort of “trivet” underneath the chicken pieces. That way, the chicken sits just above the liquids and steams gently, while the skin on top is free to crisp up in the dry heat.


Forty cloves (2)

Everything cooks in one tray, so there’s minimal cleanup. And if you use a disposable foil tray like I did, no cleanup at all!

Recipe for One-Tray Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Serves 4.


  • 1kg chicken parts
  • 3 heads garlic, roughly 40 cloves
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup white wine (opt.)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).

Step 2: Lay the garlic and cut vegetables in a layer at the bottom of a roasting tin or tray with sides. Toss the herbs on top. Pour on the wine (if using) and broth. Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle (or spray) oil over the tops of the chicken. Cover the tray in foil and put it in the oven for 60 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the foil, raise the temperature to 200°C (400°F) and roast for a further 30 minutes to allow the chicken skins to colour.

Step 4: Serve with crusty bread or rice.

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