Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and the dried thyme.
Place the bay leaf and half of the parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and other herbs if using and onion or shallot in the chicken cavity. Strew the rest of the herbs and onion or shallot in the bottom of an oven proof casserole just large enough to hold the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the herbs, breast side up.
Combine the oil, garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl, then pour over and around the chicken. Pour the Pernod over the chicken, cover and place the casserole in middle of the preheated oven. Roast for one hour. Raise the heat to 400F and uncover the casserole. Continue roasting until brown and the chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing a drumstick with a fork. The juices should run clear rather than pink. Remove the chicken from the casserole and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.
Scoop the garlic into a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside, covered with foil to stay warm.
Strain the pan juices into a pitcher. The fat will rise to the top. When ready to serve spoon off as much fat as possible.
Carve the chicken and arrange on a serving platter surrounded by the cooked garlic cloves. Pour the defatted juices over the top or pass the pitcher separately. To eat the garlic, squeeze interior out of the peel and spread on the chicken or on toasted French or peasant bread.