- 40 garlic cloves (3 to 4 heads), unpeeled
- 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (giblets removed)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place garlic in a medium bowl; cover with another same-size bowl, creating a dome. Hold bowls together tightly, and shake vigorously until skins are loosened, about 30 seconds. Remove and discard skins; set garlic aside.
- Place chicken in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon butter; season with salt and pepper. Add thyme, garlic, and remaining tablespoon butter to skillet.
- Roast, basting occasionally with juices and stirring garlic, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken, and serve with garlic and pan juices.