40 Cloves and a Chicken

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
10 min
1 hr 30 min

6 servings

  • 1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 40 peeled cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.

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Pairs Well With

Rich, buttery white wine

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4.6 314
Turned out great, but I definitely burned the chicken in the pan the first time around. "High heat" is pretty vague, but with my stove it was more like medium-high. I ended up halving the recipe, so after smoking up my kitchen and starting over with medium-high, it turned out well. I used my dutch oven, which worked quite well. It's definitely a little oily, but the chicken was fall-off-the-bone and moist, and the garlic was very sweet. I paired this with roasted brussel sprouts and red skin potatoes. I'll definitely make this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't think it was that good. Pretty bland really. Next time I'll use less oil & add some wine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Someone asked whose recipe came first, Ina's of Alton's. Neither, folks. James Beard did this recipe, and his was better. He separated the garlic bulbs into individual cloves, but didn't peel them. They roasted in their little skins, tucked in, under and around the chicken, turning into the consistency of butter. No added oil either. I brown my skin a bit in the skillet to give it more color and flavor, and the put it in a dutch oven, and seal the pan with foil so that all the juices will keep the chicken moist. The slow cooking allows the chicken to ooze its own wonderful juices and fat. Then, when the chicken was served, he suggested a big spoonful of the garlic cloves and pan juices to accompany the chicken, served with biscuits. And, here's the fun part. Take the garlic cloves and squeeze them. Out will come the most delicious garlic spread for the biscuits and the chicken. I’ve been cooking this and serving it for 40 years, and it never misses. People love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
To peel the garlic quickly, simply smash the cloves with a knife, then put them all in a hard container and shake (Tupperware bowl or a glass jar with top). Shake, shake, shake. Shake hard, and the skins come off. Remove skinned garlic from container. Easy. Delicious, by the way. I add a bit of honey to the chicken in the baking pan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
ok item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious and simply wonderful dish! Loved that my 7 year old and 16 year old also loved it "garlic"!! This became one of my go-to recipes after my first try. Added a bit of red pepper flakes and lemon juice when ever I made it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is one of the best chicken recipes I have ever tried! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best chicken my husband and I ever had was the roast chicken with warm bread salad at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. This one is definitely a close tie for that! I wanted to eat veggies to eat with this too so I tossed some chopped fingerling potatoes, true baby carrots, and parsnips with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. I put these in a separate baking dish since it didn't fit with the chicken, and they were perfectly crisp-tender in an hour. DEFINITELY a keeper recipe for years to come!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband cooked chicken using this recipe and I must say (hands down) that this is the best chicken I have ever eaten! It was moist, flavorful, and absolute perfection!! He used a Scanpan (12.75 sautee pan) from the stovetop to the oven. The type of cookware used makes all the difference. If you are bored with the dinners that you are preparing, this is an excellent recipe to elevate you to a new poultry experience. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent and a powerhouse of yummy flavor...and so easy. I added a package of gnocchi after 1 hour of baking. Delish! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Healthy Weeknight Dinners