forty clove chicken with tomato, oregano and lemon

by Michelle

Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon

For years, I’ve read recipes about roasting all kinds of fowl with forty coves of garlic. Knowing that garlic mellows as it roasts didn’t convince me that forty cloves would be pleasant to eat. It sounded more like a tonic to ward off vampires!

Obviously from the title of my post, you know that curiosity killed this cat. Logic dictates that there can’t be the plethora of recipes out there for a nasty tasting dish. Logic was bang on. This dish is pot licking delicious!

Classic versions use a combination of white wine and chicken stock and don’t include tomatoes. My pretentious addition of ‘heirloom’ tomatoes was only because I’m trying to use all of my ripe tomatoes before I go away. The heirloom variety needed to be used first, so they got picked. Use whatever local tomatoes you have on hand.

The high oven temperature seals the chicken skin while it’s roasting. That, in addition to the sauce ingredients, produces lovely moist chicken meat and a sauce that will knock your socks off!

I leave tomorrow morning for Calgary. Meggie is ready to birth her son. For three beautiful weeks, I’ll be there to help, however I can. I remember my mom coming to New York when the girls were born. I didn’t need her to do anything. I just needed her.

When the girls left home, I cried – it was more like hysterical sobbing – to my mom that the girls wouldn’t need me anymore. She laughed and said, “they’ll always need you.”

I love that…

Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon

Serves 4
Preheat oven 425*F

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (3 to 4-lb.) chicken, washed and dried thoroughly
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
40 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
5 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in 6 pieces
1 bunch fresh oregano
1 lemon, washed and quartered
¼ cup dry white wine

Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon


  • Drizzle half of the olive oil over the bottom of a large roasting pan.
  • Sprinkle with 30 cloves of garlic, the tomato pieces and half of the oregano.
  • Place 10 cloves of garlic, the remaining oregano and the lemon in the chicken’s cavity.
  • Lay the prepared chicken on top of the tomatoes and garlic.
  • Pour the white wine and remaining olive oil over the chicken then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Cover roasting pan then place on the bottom rack in your oven.
  • Bake 1 ½ hours or until chicken is golden and its juice runs clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with roasted potatoes or cooked pasta.

Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon

THE LOVE: To make this dish even more tasty, add a little whipping cream to the sauce. Remove the chicken to a serving platter then place the roaster over medium high heat. Pour in ½ cup of whipping cream and bring to a boil. Boil until sauce thickens – be sure to stir constantly so your sauce doesn’t scorch!

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Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon

I’ll be posting from Calgary. Stay tuned…xoxo

 Forty Clove Chicken with Tomatoes, Oregano and Lemon

Thanks for reading.