Archive

Bacon, garlic team up for ultimate roast chicken | TribLIVE.com
Food & Drink

Bacon, garlic team up for ultimate roast chicken

There is just something about roasted chicken that comforts, nourishes and satisfies like nothing else, especially when the wind is howling and it is cold outside.

Not too long ago, I went to visit a friend and when I walked into her house I had to take a deep breath to savor the aromas coming from the kitchen. I couldn’t keep my stomach from growling: Her house smelled divine. Naturally, I had to follow my nose and take a peek in the oven.

Her British-born mother was roasting a chicken for Sunday supper. Not such an unusual occurrence, in and of itself. But when I looked at the chicken, I saw that the breast was blanketed in bacon, adding to the intoxicating roasting smells, not to mention a good deal of flavor to both the meat and the drippings.

I knew that I had to take this English farmhouse tip home. My friend’s mother brushed off my questions with a roll of the eyes, suggesting this really was the only way to roast a chicken.

Of course, I wrap many things in bacon, and it has saved many an average meal for me. But I have never wrapped a whole chicken. The thing that I loved the most about her technique was that the chicken was decidedly not wrapped; the bacon was almost haphazardly placed on top of the chicken like a blanket. It was there to aid in the cooking process, not necessarily be part of the finished dish.

I decided to add this technique to my recipe for chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and shallots. I already had added shallots to the traditional 40 cloves recipe to make the chicken even more fragrant and delicious. The beauty of this recipe is that the garlic and the shallots cook in the fat that is rendered out as the chicken — and now bacon — roasts.

This recipe is one of my winter comfort foods and I always serve it with lots of fresh crusty bread and sweet butter to spread with the roasted garlic, along with a green vegetable — usually a quick saute of baby spinach.

Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and a contributing writer to the Associated Press.

Roasted Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic and a Bacon Blanket

Start to finish: 2 hours

2 heads garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled

8 medium shallots, not peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

12 cup white wine

1 whole chicken (5 pounds)

8 ounces thick-cut bacon

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven, toss the garlic cloves and shallots with the olive oil. Add the wine, then sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken, then season it with salt, including inside the cavity. Set the chicken, breast side up, on top of the garlic and shallots. Drape the strips of bacon over the chicken. Set the pan in the oven and cook for 1 to 1 12 hours (time will vary depending on how evenly your oven heats), or until the bacon is crisped and brown and the thighs read 170 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set it on a platter. Season the chicken with pepper, then cover it with foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, slip the garlic cloves and shallots from their skins and serve with the chicken (they also are good spread on toasted bread).

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 630 calories (400 calories from fat), 44 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 160 milligrams cholesterol, 41 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 850 milligrams sodium.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.