This is a symbolic Passover dish, since the Jews wandered for forty years in the desert before reaching the Promised Land. The garlic flavor is mild because the cloves are cooked whole. Be careful not to slice or otherwise damage the cloves; this releases an enzyme that produces the intense garlic flavor.
4 heads of garlic, yielding 40 cloves
2 tablespoons plus ½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
One 4-pound chicken
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
½ bay leaf
Separate but do not peel the cloves of garlic
Combine the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Roll the garlic cloves in this mixture and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the remaining ½ cup olive oil in a Dutch oven, reserving a little to sprinkle over the chicken. Place the chicken in the Dutch oven, then sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper over the top. Place the garlic around the chicken.
Mix the parsley, chives, basil, thyme, cilantro, and bay leaf. Sprinkle over the chicken.
Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf and serve.