Garlic Lovers Roast Chicken

Garlic Lovers Roast Chicken

Serves 4  

3½ to 4lbs fine roasting chicken (organic free-range preferred)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup of small or tiny capers
½ cup of Shiraz or Merlot wine
6 salted anchovies, chopped and boned or 12 fillets from a can
5 heads of garlic (white or pink), trim the bases flat and expose the interior
Fresh thyme sprigs (the size of your palm) and some extra for garnish
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Wash the chicken and paper towel dry. Use 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and rub it all over the chicken plus season inside and out with pepper and salt. Place the thyme sprigs inside the bird’s cavity.

On the bottom of an oven-ready or flameproof casserole dish, spread the anchovies. Breast up, place the chicken in the dish and spread capers and garlic all around it. The bird should be roasted, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then, take off the heads of garlic; inside their skins, they will be soft and tender. Flip the chicken, so it is breast down and baste it with the juices from the casserole dish. The oven’s heat must now be turned down to 350°F, and cooking should continue (uncovered) for another 35-40 minutes.

Cooking is complete when the leg joints feel loose and/or when the juices run clear gold when the thigh is pierced. If a meat thermometer is used: the temperature of one of the bird’s thighs should be 165°F. After cooking, pour the chicken’s inner juices into the casserole dish and place the garlic and bird (covered) in a warm place to rest for 5-10 minutes.

The wine must now be poured into the casserole dish, which is placed over a high heat for 2-3 minutes of cooking. During this period stir the sediment in the dish as it reduces. Take 8 garlic cloves out of their skins and mash them in the dish and season (if desired).

The chicken should be served with a garnish of fresh thyme and the jus may be offered on the side. Further, each serving should have a whole garlic head (without base) for squeezing over the carved chicken.

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