Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Rub the skin with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up, and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices.
In a saucepan bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil. Blanch the garlic cloves for 15 to 30 seconds, drain and transfer to an ice water bath. Peel the garlic and reserve.
After the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, distribute the garlic cloves around the pan. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F. and continue to roast for another 15 to 25 minutes, until well browned and the juices run clear when the fleshy part of the thigh is pricked with a fork.
Transfer the chicken to a platter along with 1/3 of the garlic cloves. With a large spoon skim the fat from the pan taking care not to remove any of the juices and discard. Place the roasting pan over moderately high heat and deglaze with the white wine, scraping up the brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides. Simmer the wine until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper.
Carve the chicken into serving pieces and pour any of the juices into the simmering sauce.
Pour the sauce with the remaining garlic into a blender and puree, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return the sauce to the roasting pan and bring back to a simmer. Swirl in the cold butter in pieces. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Stir in the fresh herbs. Serve the chicken with the sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine