Coming from Nigella Lawson’s “Forever Summer” cookbook, this recipe offers the two main ingredients that I, along with many other cooks, appreciate the most. Simplicity and depth of flavor. The way the sweetness of the slow roasted garlic cloves interact with the tanginess of the lemon, all against the backdrop of white wine infused savory chicken will blow your mind. Put this dish on the table for your lunch or dinner guests and prepare for high praise!
Instead of cutting a chicken into 10 pieces, as the recipe calls for, I used four large chicken thighs which I cut in half, giving me eight very reasonably sized pieces of poultry. I also roasted about five cubed carrots and three cubed potatoes in another pan to serve along side of this dish. All was served with crusty French rolls and a 2000 Grand Cru Bordeaux. Enjoy!
1 chicken (approx. 3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces
1 head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
2 unwaxed lemons, cut into chunky eighths
small handful fresh thyme
3 Tbsp. olive oil
10 Tbsp. white wine
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the chicken pieces into a roasting pan and add the garlic cloves, lemon chunks and the thyme; just roughly pull the leaves off the stalks, leaving some intact for strewing over later. Add the oil and using your hands mix everything together, then spread the mixture out, making sure all the chicken pieces are skin-side up. Sprinkle over the white wine and grind on some pepper, then cover tightly with foil and put in the oven to cook, at flavor-intensifyingly low heat for 2 hours. (Put your veggies in to roast 15 minutes before this 2 hours is up)
Remove the foil from the roasting pan, and turn up the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the uncovered chicken (and roasted veggies) for another 30-45 minutes, by which time the skin on the meat will have turned golden brown and the lemons will have begun to scorch and caramelize at the edges.
Surround the chicken dish on an oval platter, circle it with the roasted veggies and top with fresh thyme.