Low and slow cooking transforms this garlic-filled chicken dish into a golden-brown, juicy braise.
Despite the fact that this recipe is classic European peasant fare, modern cooks tend to avoid it because unless you have a chronic vampire problem, 40 cloves seems…excessive.
Ah! But when cooked into the chicken, the garlic becomes smooth and sweet and produces an aroma that wraps the kitchen like a hug. Make sure you have bread on hand to spread the soft garlic cloves onto and don’t forget to sop up that oil. Yes, all of it.
This recipe first appeared in Season 4 of Good Eats.
40 Cloves and a Chicken
- 1 (3-to-4 pound) broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil, not extra-virgin
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 40 cloves garlic, peeled
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces on all sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- In an 11-inch straight-sided, oven-safe sauté pan set over high heat, cook the chicken until nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup oil, the thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes with the lid on. Serve family-style with plenty of toasted bread to spread the softened, fragrant garlic on.
Specialty hardware: 11-inch straight-sided, oven-safe sauté pan
Yield: 6 servings
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes