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


  • 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


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. Pat dry with paper towels. 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.)

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Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Liz

    The Marshall Fields cookbook is also available by going here:

    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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

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