I’ve not lost my mind. Forty cloves of garlic is not excessive at all. Truth is, when roasted slowly for a long time, whole garlic loses its acrid taste, softens and sweetens. For this chicken dish of French origin, serve with crusty baguette slices to mop up the heavenly juices and to, of course, mash mellow garlic chunks over top.
I know this picture doesn’t look like I’ve used 40 cloves of garlic, but trust me, they’re there. Here’s proof:
Yes, I peeled the skins of three heads of garlic. (That’s 41 cloves, by the way.) If that sounds like painfully tedious work, it is. Good news though — you don’t really have to peel the garlic. Let them roast in their skins, and with a gentle squeeze they’ll slip right out.
Conventional versions of this recipe will call for you to brown the chicken skin in hot oil before roasting. I’ve decided to cut out that step and instead let the oven do all the work. Oil only the tops of the chicken and they’ll fry away during roasting.
I also added a few more vegetables to form a sort of “trivet” underneath the chicken pieces. That way, the chicken sits just above the liquids and steams gently, while the skin on top is free to crisp up in the dry heat.
Everything cooks in one tray, so there’s minimal cleanup. And if you use a disposable foil tray like I did, no cleanup at all!