TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hrs. + standing
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Nutritional Facts

6 ounces cooked chicken: 457 calories, 29g fat (10g saturated fat), 149mg cholesterol, 406mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 43g protein.


  1. Cut 12 garlic cloves in half. Place chicken on a cutting board. Tuck wings under chicken. With a sharp paring knife, cut 24 small slits in breasts, drumsticks and thighs. Insert each with a halved garlic. Place the lemon wedges, thyme and remaining whole garlic cloves in chicken cavity. Tie drumsticks together.
  2. Transfer chicken to a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Rub skin with butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reaches 180°. Remove chicken from oven; tent with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as 20 Cloves of Garlic Roast Chicken in Taste of Home February/March 2013

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

Reviews for 20 Cloves of Garlic Roast Chicken

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emb219 User ID: 8521821 232087
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2015

"I notice many reviews mention this lacking in garlic flavor. I searched "chicken with lots of garlic" and it turned out there are lots of hits for chicken with 40 cloves of garlic! It seems that the author of this recipe was not so fond of garlic or is trying to save on it. I will try a recipe with the 40 cloves,thank you! ;)"

cwbuff2 User ID: 5946195 153062
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2014

"I have to agree with those who didn't think the garlic came through enough, although mine did soften. I'd have to say this recipe did not pan out. I have other simple roast chicken recipes that are better."

eiggA45 User ID: 6749081 120287
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2013

"This is a no fail recipe. My husband is not a big chicken fan, but he loves this."

eiggA45 User ID: 6749081 196287
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2013

"This is a no fail recipe. My family

This is a no fail recipe. My husband is not a big chicken fan, but he loves this."

mrs._white User ID: 7182927 127619
Reviewed Jun. 6, 2013

"My family LOVES garlic so this is a wonderful way to add it to the chicken. Not to mention it is soooo juicy!"

TessaMB User ID: 6083350 196284
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2013

"It's okay. I've had better. On the plus side, now I have half a chicken for pizza on friday! :)"

keverwann User ID: 1807985 200518
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2013

"We were disappointed with this. The chicken meat, although moist, was not infused with garlic flavor and the garlic did not mellow and mush like roast garlic (in the head). We used orange wedges instead of lemon and left out the thyme because we don't like thyme. I don't think the orange or the cavity garlic cloves did anything for the chicken either. The skin on this bird was not crisp, which is one of the things I look forward to with roast chicken. We had high expectations, but none of them were met."

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