This is kind of like stone soup: a gimmick is used to produce a solid basic dish. I prefer Martha Stewart’s approach in which the chicken is cooked at high heat throughout. Serves 4-6.
1 large healthy chicken
47 cloves of garlic
8 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 t dried thyme
1/4 c white wine (optional)
2 T butter
salt and pepper
Method: preheat oven to 475 degrees with dutch oven or cast iron skillet inside. Wash chicken then rub exterior with 1 T butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out. Put 20 cloves of garlic inside chicken cavity along with 1/2 the thyme. Add 1 T butter to the now-hot skillet along with remaining thyme, garlic and optional wine (I like it but feel free to leave out if you don’t have on hand). Add chicken and cook, uncovered, without lowering temperature until it registers 165 degrees internal temperature (about 45 minutes-1 hour). Allow to rest a a bit then carve. Serve chicken with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and plenty of sourdough bread or mashed potatoes for sopping.