Did we just say 40 cloves of garlic!? Why yes, yes we did, and you should not be afraid. This classic dish sounds so excessive on the garlic scale, as well as overly simple remaining ingredients that it is often overlooked. Believe us, we thought the same thing the first time we made it. somehow, it just works and is also incredibly simple to make! The garlic mellows nicely making a delicious, and tender chicken. We predict after doing this recipe once, it will become one of your go-to family requested dishes. Resist the urge to add additional ingredients or reduce the garlic amount. Trust the recipe, enlightened you will become. You also can enjoy the bonus of one worry free night from the ever-looming threat of vampire attack.
1/2 chicken + 2 chicken legs. If you want you can separate the half chicken into thighs, drumsticks and breast, or just leave whole. Either works. This recipe also works with a whole cutup chicken or even just chicken thighs.
40 cloves of garlic peeled. This equates to roughly 4 full heads of garlic.
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: If you have time to salt your chicken 1-24 hours prior to making this dish, it is always a good idea.
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees
2. Liberally coat all your chicken pieces in salt and pepper (unless you already did so earlier). Heat a pan (that can later be covered and placed in the oven) over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil from your 1/2 cup total to the pan. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add your chicken. Pro-tip - Always add chicken to a very hot pan, this keeps the skin from sticking. You should also leave it alone skin down for a few minutes until it naturally releases from the pan when you give it a shake. After about 5 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes or until both sides have nicely browned. Remove pan from heat.
3. Next add your remaining oil (yes we know it seems like a lot), your 40 cloves of garlic (if you only have 36 cloves or 42, the dish will still be perfect), and your sprigs of thyme. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Baking for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove from the oven and let rest for several minutes. Note - This dish takes well to a bit of time out of the oven. It can easily wait 30 minutes before serving. Give it a taste, if you did not salt and pepper liberally enough at the start, you may need a little touch more now.
5. Serve up the chicken making sure to get plenty of garlic and oil on each platter. Serve alongside some roasted or mashed potatoes and or a hearty slice of bread for sopping up that delicious garlic oil.