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Chicken with orzo & roasted garlic aioli

Chicken with orzo & roasted garlic aioli

Roasting cloves in the oven transforms them into a richly mellow, sweet purée. 

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves6
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook1 hr 25 mins
  • Total time1 hr 45 mins
  • Plusresting

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  • 3 bulb/s Cooks’ Ingredients Garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • kg whole free range chicken
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 175ml white wine (optional)
  • 300g orzo
  • 400ml fresh chicken stock
  • ¼ x 20g pack lemon thyme, leaves roughly chopped

For the aioli

  • 1 egg
  • 200ml flavourless oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. Peel the loose skin from the garlic bulbs. Slice the root ends off, then coat in a drizzle of olive oil plus a pinch of salt. Wrap 1 bulb in foil. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4; put the wrapped bulb in the oven as it heats up. Put the chicken in a roasting tin, rub all over with oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the breast side, including the legs. Push the 2 remaining garlic bulbs into the cavity along with the lemon half, giving it a squeeze as it goes in so that some of the juice goes in the cavity. Roast the chicken for 1 hour 25 minutes until cooked through with no pink meat and the juices run clear. After 30 minutes, remove the foil-covered garlic from the oven; carefully open the foil so it cools.

  2. While the chicken is roasting, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add the shallots and fry until soft (about 10 minutes). Add the wine (if using) and cook until reduced, then add the orzo. Stir to coat in the oil, then add the chicken stock. Cover and cook for around 15 minutes until the orzo is soft, stirring occasionally, then stir through 2/3 of the lemon thyme.

  3. To make the aioli, put the yolk and oil in a blender. Whizz together to make a mayonnaise, then add the mustard and a pinch of salt. Squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl, mash with a fork, then stir through the mayonnaise (you can use store-bought mayonnaise if you prefer).

  4. When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a board and allow to rest. Take out the garlic and lemon; discard the lemon. (If you want to eat the garlic, cut it in half and pan-fry briefy until lightly charred to serve alongside the chicken. Otherwise, discard.) Spread the orzo out on a serving platter, sit the chicken on top and sprinkle over the emaining lemon thyme. Serve with the aioli on the side, plus greens or salad if liked.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,214kJ/ 771kcals



Saturated Fat












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5 out of 5 stars1 rating