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Garlic Roast Chicken with Scape Pesto

Garlic Roast Chicken with Scape Pesto

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Garlic lovers, unite — this dish is for you! It features a triple dose of your favourite allium: the chicken is sprinkled with our Ultimate Garlic Bomb Seasoning and roasted with three whole heads of garlic. Then the bird is served with thinly sliced roasted potatoes and a pesto made from garlic scapes, the tender stems and flower buds that grow from hardneck garlic plants. Scapes are often sold at farmers’ markets in the spring and early summer.


For the scape pesto:

  • 1 bunch garlic scapes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the chicken:

  • 6 shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic heads, top 1/2 inch (12 mm) cut off
  • 8 green onions, ends trimmed
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 chicken, 4 to 5 lb. (2 to 2.5 kg)
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. Williams Sonoma Ultimate Garlic Bomb Seasoning

For the potatoes:

  • 10 medium red potatoes
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • Flaky sea salt


  • Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).
  • To make the pesto, in a food processor, combine the garlic scapes, basil, parsley, walnuts, Parmesan and lemon juice and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • To make the chicken, in a 12-inch (30-cm) cast-iron skillet, toss together the shallots, garlic heads, 6 whole green onions and 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil. Arrange the vegetables along the perimeter of the pan; tuck the green onions under and around the shallots and garlic and place the garlic heads cut side up. Pour about 1 Tbs. olive oil on each garlic head. Season the vegetables with kosher salt and pepper. Chop the remaining 2 green onions and set aside for garnish.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place, breast side up, on top of the vegetables. Brush the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle with the garlic bomb seasoning. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, then tuck the wings under the breasts. Let stand while you prepare the potatoes.
  • To make the potatoes, scrub them and dry well with paper towels. Working with 1 potato a time, using a mandoline, thinly slice the potato. Gather the slices at the end of each potato, keeping them together to retain the potato’s shape. Carefully arrange the potatoes in a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron skillet, fanning out the slices slightly. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Tuck the bay leaves around the potatoes.
  • Transfer the skillet with the chicken to the bottom oven rack and the skillet with the potatoes to the top rack, rotating the pans between the racks halfway through roasting.
  • Roast until the shallots, garlic heads and green onions are tender and very browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast, away from the bone, registers 165° (74°C) and the thigh, 170°F (77°C), 45 minutes to 1 hour. Roast the potatoes until tender and starting to crisp around the edges, 45 minutes to 1 hour; the undersides should be very crisp.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the chopped green onions. Sprinkle the potatoes with the chives, flaky sea salt and a few grindings of pepper. Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes and scape pesto. Serves 4.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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