Roast garlic chicken with potato and leek gratin

Enjoy comfort food at its finest with Donna Hay’s roast garlic chicken and creamy gratin for a Sunday lunch to remember. Serve with Donna Hay’s roast garlic bruschetta.

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

By Donna Hay
From Saturday Kitchen


For the roast garlic (makes 200g/7oz)

  • 6 large garlic bulbs
  • extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • sea salt flakes

For the roast garlic chicken

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus 4 sprigs
  • 80g/2¾oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.3kg/3lb whole chicken
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the potato and leek gratin

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz starchy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into thin rounds
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 310ml/½ pint double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. To make the roast garlic, place each garlic bulb on a sheet of kitchen foil. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and wrap to enclose.

  2. Place on a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes or until soft and golden.

  3. Cool for 10 minutes, then squeeze the garlic from their skins. Transfer to a sterilised glass jar if preparing ahead, or use immediately. Discard the garlic skins.

  4. To make the roast garlic chicken, combine 2 tbsp of the mashed roasted garlic with the tarragon leaves, butter, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to loosen the skin over the chicken, separating the breast meat from the skin. Use a small spoon to place the garlic butter under the skin of the chicken.

  5. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the extra tarragon sprigs and the lemon. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

  6. To make the potato and leek gratin, place the potato, leek and thyme in a deep 25x30cm/10x12in baking dish. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until hot but not boiling, then pour over the vegetables in the dish.

  7. Place the chicken on top of the gratin and roast for 1 hour or until the chicken and potatoes are tender and cooked through. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear with no trace of pink when the thickest part of the leg, between the drumstick and the thigh, is pierced with a skewer.

  8. Divide the carved chicken and the gratin between warmed plates.

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