I enjoyed this for the first time a few years ago at my friend's house in England. It was warm, comforting, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, so I vowed to make it again for my husband. I made this shortly after we got married, but one thing led to another and I got sick and couldn't eat dinner (had nothing to do with the food). My husband loved the meal so much that he ended up eating about 75% of the garlic. Now, like I said, I enjoy garlic more than the average Joe, but when you're living with a person who just inhaled roughly 30 pieces of garlic, things can get a bit interesting. Garlic was literally seeping out of his pores for days. We joke about it now, but it was pretty difficult to be near him. Long story short, share this meal with others and try limiting your garlic intake to around 10-15(ish) cloves each; your partner will thank you, trust me!
With only five ingredients, this recipe mouthwatering delicious...if you like garlic. And if you don't like garlic, I urge you to give it a second (or third, or fifth, or tenth) chance. Yes, it calls for 40 cloves of garlic, but with such a long cooking time, the garlic becomes creamy, fragrant, and sweet instead of pungent, spicy, and raw. And the chicken—oh, the chicken—it's so juicy that it literally falls off the bone. Don't even get me started on how great the leftovers taste.
Serve this with some homemade French bread, a glass of wine, and good company!
40 Cloves and a Chicken
- 1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 40 peeled cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. coat chicken pieces on all sides with 2 tablespoons of oil.
In a 12-inch, straight-sided oven safe saute pan* over high heat, cook the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Remove pan from heat; add remaining 1/2 cup oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove pan from oven; set aside for 15 minutes with the lid on. Serve family style with plenty of bread to spread the softened, fragrant garlic on.
*Since the pan I have isn't oven safe, I brown my chicken in a pan, then transfer it to a small casserole dish before baking in the oven