Renowned British chef and prolific cookbook author Paul Gayler’s latest collection of recipes honors the birds: chicken, duck, quail, pheasant, grouse, squab, goose…you get it. If it flies, Gayler will cook it from beak to tail. Pick up a copy of Chicken & Other Birds, and about five heads of garlic while you’re at it.
Roasted garlic has a lovely sweet, mellow taste. This recipe is best made the classic way, which involves hermetically sealing the casserole dish with a flour and water paste. This locks in all the lovely flavor. With all that wonderful garlic taste, all you need as accompaniments are some baby roasted potatoes and buttered spinach.
- 1 3-lb, 3-oz. chicken
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 40 plump garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons water, mixed with 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and place in a large lidded ovenproof casserole dish. Sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme, then place the garlic cloves around the bird. Pour over the oil, stock and wine.
Mix together the flour with the water and oil to form a paste and roll this into a long strip ¼ inch thick. Press the paste strip around the edge of the casserole dish, then cover with the lid to form a hermetic seal.
Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 1¼ hours, or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer or small, sharp knife.
To serve, carefully lift out the cooked chicken and remove the garlic cloves. Strain the cooking juices through a fine sieve into a small pan.
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and arrange the garlic around the bird. Pour over the cooking juices and serve.