Lay the chicken on a rimmed cookie sheet, skin facing up, and sprinkle it generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.
Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add the lard.
When the skillet is hot, reduce the heat to medium. Use tongs to place the seasoned skin side of the chicken down into the hot oil. You'll probably only be able to fit half of the chicken into the skillet. That's ok. Do two batches; don't try to cram it all in there.
With the skin side down in the skillet, sprinkle the bone side (side facing up) with more salt, pepper, and thyme.
Place a lid on the skillet and allow the chicken and garlic to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Uncover, turn the chicken over, and continue cooking until the chicken is done -- about 10 more minutes. If your thighs are especially large, this may take longer. When in doubt use a knife to cut into a piece of chicken to test for doneness.
Serve each person a thigh or two, along with 6 or 10 cloves of garlic. The garlic isn't garlicky -- it actually becomes SWEET! There's just no way to describe it!
We like to smash the softened, browned garlic onto our chicken and dig in! If you're serving bread or veggies on the side, you might enjoy spreading the browned garlic on those.