Crispy Chicken with Roasted Garlic
Serves 4 – 6
This recipe is quick, easy, and the chicken is crispy without being oily. Soft and sweet roasted garlic goes particularly well with green vegetables, including Devil’s Club Shoots. Be sure and brown the chicken pieces in two batches; if you crowd all the chicken into the pan at one time, it will steam rather than brown.
3 heads garlic
1 4-pound whole chicken, cut up, or 4 pounds chicken thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Separate heads of garlic into cloves. Peel cloves and cut off hard bits at root end of cloves.Wash chicken pieces and dry well. Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper (don’t stint on the seasoning).
Heat olive oil in cast iron, or other heavy, skillet until it’s very hot, but not smoking (if oil is very hot, chicken skin is less likely to stick to pan). Place half of chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and let cook until skin is well browned; this takes about 5 minutes on each side. Don’t turn chicken or fidget with it until skin is fully browned, or it won’t cook properly. Turn over and brown second side. Put browned chicken in roasting pan skin side up. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.When all chicken is in roasting pan, add peeled garlic to skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes until garlic is lightly browned. Evenly distribute browned garlic among chicken in roasting pan.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Separate pan juices from fat. Serve with a few cloves of roasted garlic and drizzle with defatted pan juices.