Roasted Garlic Chicken

The trick to this tender, succulent roast chicken is the overnight brining. We usually roast chickens breast side down to ensure tender breast meat. But with the overnight brining in a roasted garlic and lemon juice marinade, the breast meat was perfectly moist, even cooked breast up. The garlic flavor is subtle, not strong or overwhelming, due to roasting the garlic first.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole roasting chicken

Method

1 Prepare the brine by combining garlic, water, salt, pepper and olive oil in a blender. Squeeze the juice from the lemon wedges into the brine, blend. Stir in the bay leaves.

2 Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag, or in a large non-reactive bowl. Pour the brine all over the chicken in the bag, or in the bowl. Add the (already squeezed) lemon wedges. Squeeze out all the air from the bag and seal, or place plastic wrap over the chicken in the bowl. Refrigerate overnight - 12 to 24 hours.

3 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the chicken from the brine. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken. Place the chicken on a rack, in a roasting pan, breast side up. Roast for about an hour, until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a fork. (Thigh meat should have an internal temperature of 160°F before removing from oven.)

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

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Recipe adapted from The Marshall Field's Cookbook 2006. (Sometimes available on eBay.)

16 Comments

  1. Liz

    The Marshall Fields cookbook is also available by going here: http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=210421&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

    I live in Chicago and miss Marshall Fields on State Street but as a native Californian, Macy’s isn’t a bad alternative.

    This chicken sounds really good – how much of the brine should I use if only using two chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)?

    Thanks for a great site!

  2. jonathan

    Brining’s great. Try it with your turkey this Thanksgiving and you should end up with fool-proof results. Another trick for a moist roast chicken is to put salt (kosher) and pepper inside the cavity and on the outside of it the night prior to roasting. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge (in a pan or bowl to prevent a mess). Don’t salt a kosher chicken though; it’s already salted.

    Of course, a digital meat thermometer is a beautiful thing too, and worth the $20 investment.

  3. alita

    I can’t wait to try this. Would you use this same brining liquid for a turkey? I love this site, thanks so much for all the delicious recipes

  4. Elizabeth

    I brined the chicken on Friday night and cooked it for dinner last night. Success! – even with my four year-old son. I was out of bay leaves so I used a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, which added a nice flavor.

    I am so tired of so tired of dry chicken dishes. This was moist and tender… and I’ve make three more heads of roasted garlic – just for snacks :). Oh, savory goodness!

  5. Roberta

    I made this over the weekend and now, I will never, ever prepare a chicken any other way…It was FABULOUS! Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes!

  6. tim

    Extra work for not much taste. I find it easier to just dry rub them with spices. 1 to 10 I’d give it a 5

  7. Peapies

    The trick to this tender, succulent roast chicken is the overnight brining.

    Here is another trick to try.

    My 97 year old grandmother gave me one of her first cookbooks “New Delineator Recipes” circa 1929. I applied the “Roast chicken” recipe to a Thanksgiving Turkey and it was the JUICIEST turkey EVER…

    Roast Chicken

    1 roasting chicken
    Stuffing
    Savory fat or Olive Oil
    Salt and Pepper
    Flour

    Wash, singe and draw the fowl, rub it with salt and pepper inside and out, and stuff fowl. Truss and tie fowl.

    Grease it well with savory fat or olive oil, dredge with flour and place on trivet in a double roasting-pan in HOT oven (480′ Fahrenheit), to sear quickly so that juices may not escape during roasting. After 20 to 25 minutes, when the skin is well seared, cover pan (I use tin foil), lessen the heat 370′ degrees and cook until breast is tender.

    If cooked in an open pan, as soon as the flour has been nicely browned, baste well, adding a little fat or water if necessary, repeating the basting every ten minutes.

    —–

    Thought you might like to try. The super hot oven for 20 minutes ….Turkey or chicken comes out beautifully browned and hardly ANY juice in pan as it’s all inside…

  8. fethiye

    With a bit of tweaking (to include a bit of rosemary and also garlic salt), I finally tried out this recipe. It yield to a moist, flavourful chicken roast. Thanks for sharing Elise!

  9. Sandee from Toronto

    Hi Elise,

    Just wanted to comment on this. Thank you so much for giving us this recipe. I finally tried it tonight (after brining it overnight) and I am soooo glad that I did! I was very impressed with how tender the meat was and you’re right that roasting the garlic makes all the difference. It added a nice nuance to the chicken. I think this is how we’re gonna’ handle roast chicken from now on. All the other ways I’ve tried were always hit and miss. But using this method, it’s going to be a hit everytime. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  10. paraks

    I tried it out last night and ended up having a succulent, tender roast chicken.
    Great recipe – one I know I’ll use again and again and again!
    Thanks

  11. frank

    I tried this several months ago and it was quite fantastic. It tasted like the picture, if that makes much sense.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  12. frank

    It’s been almost a year and I’ve made this about three times since and fed many people with it. Those of us who have consumed this chicken agree it’s delicious in its tastiness and succulentness. Mmm… so good. I’m brining one right now. Produces nice drippings that are ideal for your gravy recipe.

  13. Jesse

    Wow! This was amazing! Thank you for this recipe. So simple and so succulent! And this isn’t just my opinion but also my husband and all my in-laws! I’ve never roasted garlic before…it was wonderful!

    The only three little things I did differently was put fresh rosemary, marjoram (sp?) and parsley inside the chicken while it cooked and then discarded it when I took it out of the oven. Put Adobo on the chicken instead of just salt and pepper. Lastly, I put 2 cups of fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth at the bottom while it roasted and then I had the gravy already made when it was done :)

    This will basically be the only way I make chicken from now on!

    Thanks again!

  14. jules

    This is probably a silly question, but I’ve already brined my chicken for tomorrow night’s dinner using this recipe. I’ve never brined and am a very novice cook, so I’m not sure if I should rinse the chicken after I remove it from the brine or should I put it wet into the oven?

    When you remove the chicken from this brine, you do not need to rinse it. You can if you want, pat it dry before sprinkling with salt and pepper. ~Elise

  15. Mindi

    This was super moist & flavorful…I added carrots, potatoes & onions to the roasting pan with a bit of white wine, yummy!!

  16. Heather

    I have some chicken quarters that I need to get used and was wondering if I can use this recipe for them or is it going to change the cooking time and temp? I have never roasted a chicken before and I am looking forward to trying this.

    You can definitely use this recipe with your chicken quarters. You may need to cook them in less time, start checking their temperature at 40 minutes. ~Elise

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