Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I’m posting this because you need this recipe.  There are a lot of recipes that call themselves “Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.”  This one is the simplest I’ve seen, and as far as I can tell it is so fantastically good that transcends space and time.  We had it for dinner last night (resulting in many tweets and much use of all caps) and I’ve been daydreaming about the leftovers all day today.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

from John Thorne’s Outlaw Cook

3-4 lbs chicken parts, skin on.  I used thighs and drumsticks.

40 cloves of garlic (buy unpeeled ones, or just use them with the peels still on if you like)

1-2 T olive oil

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Choose a pot or casserole with  tight lid large enough to hold the chicken pieces.  Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. (I cheated and just did one skin-covered side per piece, and it came out just fine.)  Once the pieces are browned (put them on a plate or something once they’re done – you’ll probably have to work in batches anyway) put in the garlic cloves and stir them around in the hot fat for a minute or two.  Then add the chicken back in, stirring it up so the garlic is dispersed among the chicken pieces.  Cover the pot with foil, mash the lid on top (for a nice tight seal) and bake in the oven for one and a half hours.

And that’s it!  Actually, John Thorne adds some extra steps – seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper before browning (I skipped this and didn’t miss it) and adding a few sprigs of parsley and one of thyme during the baking (ditto.)  But the result is wonderful – the chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender, the garlic is roasted to perfection, and the juices are just divine. We ate it with good French bread, smushed into the juices or spread with the garlic, and it was perfect.

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