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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Rich, buttery white wine

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    309 Reviews
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    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.
    This is one of the best chicken recipes I have ever tried!
    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!!
    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.
    Excellent and a powerhouse of yummy flavor...and so easy. I added a package of gnocchi after 1 hour of baking. Delish!
    So I made this exactly according to the recipe -no adjustments whatsoever. It came out mildly dry and completely flavorless. The chicken was pale, skin not crispy and not even the garlic was roasted. I can't, for the life of me, figure out how this recipe worked for so many people. Can't say that I'll do it again, although I had high hopes.
    Sounds like oven issues. At the very least the chicken should have been browned before baking, though. Give it another shot. It really is nice.
    Your pan may have not been hot enough to brown the chicken. The pan searing is meant to just add some color to the skin so it shouldn't be cooking any of the meat yet. The juices might have already been cooked out before you got to put it in the oven, leading to overcooked, dry chicken.
    Very flavorful! The hardest part was cutting up the chicken. It is a bit messy to prepare when you are browning the chicken cuz the oil splatters everywhere. Instead of adding new olive oil to the baking pan, I just used the browned oil from the skillet to soak up more of the flavor.
    This is hands down the best roasted chicken that i have ever made!
    It was good. It was certainly easy. I added a large Yukon Gold potato diced about 3/4" and it cooked perfectly. I would make it again when I needed a super easy meal.
    Oh my gosh! So yummy. Hubby and I are on a very restricted eating regiment so needed to change up the recipe. Used boneless skinless chicken breast. Used Himalayan Pink salt (no more table salt for us..once you taste the Himalayan Pink salt you won't want regular salt..and it is so much better for you) along with pepper and only a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the chicken. Then use vegetable or chicken broth (about a 3/4 cup to a cup) in place of the added oil. Also add chunks of onion for added flavor. I've also used italian seasonings when out of thyme. And cut the cooking time down to one hour. Make sure to let it sit at least ten minutes to soak in all the deliciousness. The chicken is incredibly tender and flavorful. It's not greasy and makes a wonderful broth that I use in soups or to cook brown rice in. We don't eat bread so no spreading the garlic on it but it's wonderful mixed in with brown rice, quinoa or spread on the chicken itself! Delightful! 
    Way too oily and dry...
    Very tasty! I added some white wine to the pan and reduced the amount of oil. It turned out excellent and moist.
    I made this....smashed the cooked garlic with the oil and chicken juices and it make the best gravy....Making it again tonight....But I just use chicken thighs...my favorite part...Thanks Alton.
    Good with some sourdough bread for the garlic and oil.
    I'm standing in my kitchen, picking apart this chicken and it is incredibly good! Healthy? It is doing the back stroke in a half inch of oil & broth. Tasty? Without a doubt.  
    When I was browning the chicken over high heat, the liquid began accumulating in the pan. Perhaps this is because the chicken I used (all thighs was injected with 15% broth (so the package said. The meat still browned, regardless. Because there was so much liquid after browning, I just added a quarter cup of olive oil instead of a half cup, per the recipe.  
    It turned out great! This is good chicken! The flavors work great together. So simple, yet so good. Crispy skin (the unhealthy part of this dish. Perhaps the broth-injected chicken makes this even healthier because you use less oil. I was afraid that I would overcook this bird, but I stuck to the recipe and it turned out great.
    Really good, incredibly easy. Roasted garlic is amazing. Cooked at 400 degrees for 1 hour, added red onions and served with chilled lentil salad. Delicious and healthy!
    I've made this quite a few times now, and I think it's the best chicken ever. The garlic, after being roasted, has amazing flavor. I always serve my chicken over angel hair pasta. I pour the oil over it- it's just like a sauce!- and mix in the roasted garlic cloves. I even add extra garlic sometimes. 
    Sometimes I'll make this and use the chicken for other meals (chicken noodle soup. Mmm! 
    This recipe keeps it simple and is a MUST for garlic lovers. I can't get enough! This is my favorite dish.
    Several of the reviews mentioned the chicken came out dry. I used bone in breast and legs. I browned the chicken for about 20 minutes to get the skin very brown and crispy. Then I baked it in a 400 degree oven for one hour. It came out perfect. I'll definitely be adding this recipe to the rotation. Thanks Alton! 
    delicious! I cut down cooking time to 1 hr. chicken fell off the bone, produced plenty of drippings to pour over mashed potatoes. so tasty for a cold night!
    Well, I had a feeling 1.5 hours at 350 F would be too long. So I may follow others and cut the time down a bit. The chicken came out moist and the skin tasted great. I shouldn't have dunked it in the oil sauce though. So I may also use less oil too. The garlic was scrumptious.
    I'm somewhat of a novice cook, and it took some courage to try this recipe. I'm really glad I did! I followed the recipe as written, but now that I've tried it I think I would prefer to use only skinless chicken breast next time around...I can't believe the taste of the garlic! I love it by itself right on top of the bird!
    Wow! I made this about a week ago for my family and everyone loved it. My picky kids ( 5 & 3 ate everything on their plates. I made it again for my mom who puts salt on everything. She raved about it and never once reached for any additional seasoning. I used all bone in breasts the first time but also made it with the whole chicken white and dark the second. Was fantastic both times with mashed potatoes and the sweet garlic cloves from the pan. my dutch oven was the perfect tool for the job. Defiantly will make again!!! Thanks Alton!
    Fantastic. Not dry, chicken fell off the bone and was very flavorful. I have tried many other recipes for 40 clove chicken and all of them were much more complicated. This was easy and turned out fantastic. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand you can use Italian seasoning and it still turns out great. I use a dutch over which seams to work the best. Kids loved it which means we all love it.
    Absolutely melt off the bone delicious. And simple - the hardest part was peeling 40 garlic cloves and c'mon, how hard is that? I sat on the front porch in the sun and intermittently threw a big plastic bone for one of our dogs to retrieve. I should always work so hard! 
    This was a big hit in our household. I've already been asked to repeat it soon and we just finished dinner an hour ago. I served it with mashed potatoes and a combination of steamed orange cauliflower, baby carrots and petite peas, with melted butter and butter toasted coarse bread crumbs. SO good!
    Okay, so for those of you who had problems with this dish turning out dry - I know why. First time I made this, it was perfect, tender and juicy; second time, dry, even tough. Why? Because I took too much time searing it in the fry pan before putting it in the oven.
     Third time, guessing that this was the problem, I seared on very high heat, very quickly. Came out perfect. I use this receipe for all sorts of things - recently added the chicken, as well as the garlic, to a butter chicken dish. Everyone loved it.
    I have been making variations of this recipe for years and have never peeled the garlic.
    Delicious!!! I didn't use a whole chicken, i only used drumsticks. I also cooked at 375 for a half hour and deglazed the pan with white wine before putting in the oven. So good!
    I also found the chicken was wayyyy overcooked. The flavor was O.K., but I couldn't even gag the breasts down, the were so dry.
    AB what were you thinking? Flavor is excellent but the chicken is over cooked to the point of being nearly inedible--which I was afraid of but wanted to follow the recipe exactly first. Not sure this recipe is salvagable--well cooked chicken & garlic. At least I was able to try out the stupid garlic trick from Youtube. Worked great.
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