When cooked in this dish, the garlic loses its bite and becomes soft, mellow and irresistible. (When buying fresh garlic, chose firm bulbs that have large cloves and are heavy for their size. Lightweight garlic bulbs may be dried out and rubbery inside.)
2 kg chicken
2 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
2/3 cup white wine, (or chicken broth)
40 garlic cloves, separated but not skinned
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the whole chicken in it, turning it over to do all the sides. Remove chicken from the pan and place it in a large casserole or ovenproof dish.
Pour the wine or broth into the skillet, stirring to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add this liquid to the casserole with the chicken. Sprinkle in a little thyme and rosemary and a couple of bay leaves.
Separate garlic cloves. Don't peel them, just remove the outer papery skin and pull the cloves apart.
Toss the garlic cloves in with the chicken, cover the casserole tightly with a lid (or use foil if you don't have a lid that fits), and bake at 375F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve the cooked garlic cloves along with the chicken; they are very soft and spread well on slices of French of Italian bread.