Smash the garlic cloves but leave them in their papery skins to help stop them burning. Pout the garlic, chicken, thyme and peppercorns in a bowl and turn the whole lot over a few times with your hands.
Arrange the chicken on a rack set over a roasting tin; this will allow any liquid to drain out. Add the garlic, thyme and peppercorns, poking it in amongst the chicken.
Sprinkle over a good amount of rock salt, making sure that you cover all the pieces. Now chill overnight or for at least 8 hours so the salt can draw out any excess moisture.
Heat the oven to 160C/fan140C/gas3. Brush any excess salt off the chicken and rinse out the roasting tin. Sprinkle over a little olive oil and dust with paprika before you cook it. I prefer smoked paprika as it has a lovely warm flavour and a slightly sharp edge.
Roast for 1 hour until the skin is browned and crisp and the chicken cooked through. Serve with the garlic cloves to squeeze out.View more Chicken recipes...