Roasted Garlic Chicken

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.)

Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Victoria

    Should i rub the chicken with butter or oil?

  • 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

  • Mindi

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

  • 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

  • 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!

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