You read that right! FORTY CLOVES OF GARLIC will be used in this dish. Heck, you can use up to 50 cloves! – or about 3-4 whole heads of fresh garlic. It undoubtedly seems a little off-balance, using 40 cloves of garlic for just 1 chicken, but, I promise I’m not leading you down a dark, failed-recipe path. This dish really exists for a reason – because it’s freaking delicious.
I’m sure I frequently say “this is the best ______ ever”, but, this really is one of the best roasted chickens I’ve ever had. It’s a bit different from my highly-praised Chicken Under a Brick, but, still super flavorful, moist & juicy with that CRISPY. @$$. SKIN we all love.
If you’re already wondering how the heck you’re going to peel 40-50 cloves of garlic, NEVER FEAR! Simply grab a large glass jar with a lid, throw the whole cloves in, replace the lid, and shake vigorously! You don’t want to fill the jar more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the way with garlic cloves, though. They’ll need plenty of room to shake around, so, you may need to do this in batches, depending on how large your jar is.
Once you’ve done your shake-shake-shaking, and all of your garlic cloves have been easily-peasily-peeled, you’ll realize, “wow – this really isn’t THAT many garlic cloves!” Then, you’ll feel silly because all of the sudden placing a whole butterflied chicken over a bed of garlic cloves, lemon slices, and fresh thyme sprigs, suddenly seems like the most ingenious idea ever. You’re basically steaming the chicken from below while leaving all those delicious flavors behind, and still getting a perfectly crispy, crackly skin on top.
I always thought my Chicken Under a Brick (aka Best Chicken You’ll Ever Eat) was chicken-perfection, but, this recipe definitely comes neck and neck with it! All you need is one chicken, 40 cloves of garlic, 1 hour, and the result is some of the juiciest, flavor-packed, roasted garlic-lemony-thyme chicken on the planet.
BONUS: You get 40 sweet roasted garlic gems – perfectly edible and perfectly delicious.
And while we’re talking about the best chicken ever… why not try the best Paleo Chicken Pot Pie ever?!
- 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs.), rinsed & pat dry, butterflied & trimmed of excess fat
- 40 cloves fresh garlic, peeled (about 3-4 heads total)
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme sprigs, (a handful - about 20-30 sprigs)
- 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Kasandrinos extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/4 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp dried rosemary, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 and grease baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan.)
- Peel garlic cloves by vigorously shaking unpeeled cloves in a large covered jar. Evenly layer garlic cloves in center of well-greased baking pan.
- Rub olive oil onto dry butterflied chicken, making sure to coat all of the skin. Season with rosemary, salt & pepper.
- Layer thin lemon slices over the garlic cloves in the pan. Then evenly layer thyme sprigs over top. Place seasoned & butterflied chicken directly on top of garlic-lemon-thyme bed.
- Place pan in oven and roast at 425 for first 10 mins, then, reduce heat to 350 for remaining 40-50 minutes (depending on size of chicken), until thigh meat juice runs clear & meat thermometer reads 165 degrees