Forty-Clove-of-Garlic Brined Chicken
Forty-cloves-of-garlic brined chicken
by Tom Kerridge from Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes (Absolute Press)
This is my version of a French classic – chicken roasted with forty cloves of garlic. With this recipe – and all my recipes – I’m trying to get as much flavour as possible out of every ingredient, which is why I use the lovely, garlicky oil used to cook the chicken to make the mayonnaise.
Prep time: 40 mins + 8hrs brining
Cooking time: 1½hrs
1 large chicken, about 1.8kg
100ml chicken stock
100ml white wine
2 tbsp brandy
1 medium potato, peeled
4 bay leaves
250ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
40 garlic cloves, separated but not peeled
1 small bunch of thyme
Vegetable oil, for pan roasting
For the brine
400g flaky sea salt
390g demerara sugar
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
For the mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
To make the brine, bring all of the ingredients to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring to make sure that the sugar & salt dissolve. Leave to cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge. When chilled, place the chicken in the brine, cover & leave in the fridge for 8 hrs. Remove the chicken & pat dry on kitchen paper.
Preheat the oven to 210C/Gas Mark 7.
Pour the chicken stock, white wine & brandy into a large casserole & bring to the boil over a medium-high heat.
Add the potato & bay leaves. Place the chicken in the casserole & pour in the olive oil. Season with the flaky sea salt & black pepper, then throw in the 40 garlic cloves & the thyme. Put a lid on the casserole & place in the oven for 45-60 mins, until the chicken is cooked. Test the thickest part of the thigh meat with an instant-read thermometer – it should have an internal temperature of 70C.
Remove the chicken from the casserole & put it into a roasting tin. Turn the oven down to 60C/Gas Mark ¼ & place the chicken in the oven to rest.
Place a fine sieve over a jug & drain the cooking liquor into it. Carefully lift the whole potato out, place it on a small plate & put it into the fridge to chill. Gently pour off the cooking oil from the jug – it will have separated & floated to the top. Keep this oil as you are going to make the mayonnaise with it. Place a frozen freezer block or a plastic bag filled with ice cubes into the oil to cool it down quickly. Also, reserve the cooking liquid beneath the oil.
Pat the garlic cloves dry on some kitchen paper. Warm a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium heat & drizzle in a little vegetable oil. Add the garlic cloves & roast them in the pan until they are browned & toasted – be careful not to burn them. They will already be soft inside.
Pour the remaining cooking liquor that was underneath the cooking oil into a saucepan & simmer it to reduce it to a glaze. Remove the chicken from the oven & blowtorch it to get a dark, even colour. Pour over the reduced glaze.
To make the mayonnaise, place the chilled potato, mustard, egg yolks & vinegar in a food processor & purée until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour the chilled cooking oil through the feed tube, until it emulsifies into a thick mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice & season with salt & black pepper.
To serve, carve the chicken into 10 pieces – breasts, wings, wing tips, drumsticks & thighs. Transfer to a serving platter & serve with the roasted garlic cloves & the mayonnaise.