Posted by: marthabernie | July 29, 2015


Over the years, I have tried hundreds of recipes for roasting chicken, either the whole bird or pieces.  In the last few years I have come to one conclusion:  the simpler, the better.  I sometimes only salt and pepper the outside of the bird after brushing on a little olive oil, and then put a whole cut lemon inside the cavity.  This gives the meat a slight lemon flavor but also keeps the bird moist.  Using a free range bird also makes for tender, moist meat.

Below is a recipe which is also simple and utilizes garlic…in fact, 20 cloves of garlic.  That’s the hardest part of the recipe…peeling the garlic cloves.


20 garlic cloves, peeled and divided

1-  3 to 4 pound chicken

4 lemon wedges

8 fresh thyme sprigs, cut in half

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut 12 garlic cloves in half.  Place chicken on a cutting board and tuck wings under chicken  With a sharp paring knife, cut 24 small slits in breasts, drumsticks and thighs.  Insert each with a halved garlic clove.  Place the lemon wedges, thyme and remaining whole garlic cloves in chicken cavity.  Tie drumsticks together.  Transfer chicken to a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up.  Rub skin with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast, uncovered at 350 degrees F for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer in thigh reaches 180 degrees F.  Remove chicken from oven, tent with foil.  Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.


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