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, as well as a green vegetable — usually a quick saute of baby spinach.
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
1/2 cup white wine
5-pound whole chicken
8 ounces thick-cut bacon
Ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 500 F.
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 11/2 hours (time will vary depending on how evenly your oven heats), or until the bacon is crisped and brown and the thighs read 170 F.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set it on a platter. Season the chicken with black pepper, then cover it with foil and let it rest 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).