For this roast chicken recipe, if you have the time, season the chicken with salt the night before and chill uncovered so the skin will dry out a bit. Doing this helps the chicken take on a nice golden finish.
- 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 2½ lb. total)
- 4 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed
- 1 red chile (such as Fresno), quartered lengthwise, seeds removed if desired
- 3 bay leaves or 5 sprigs thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Country-style bread, toasted (for serving)
Preheat oven to 325°. Place chicken in an 13x9" baking dish and season generously all over with salt. Add garlic, lemon, chile, bay leaves, and a few grinds of pepper. Pour in oil and toss everything to coat. Turn garlic heads cut side down so they are in contact with the baking dish (this will help them brown).
Roast chicken, rotating pan once, until meat is almost falling off the bone, 75–90 minutes. Let chicken cool in pan 10 minutes, then serve with bread.