Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic


Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Do not be alarmed at the quantity of garlic in this traditional French dish. Baking the garlic in the oven along with the bird softens and mellows it to a piquant, sumptuous sweetness, with none of the harsh pungency of the raw bulb. As you eat, squeeze the contents of the garlic cloves onto the chicken.

For the Fresh Herb Rub

  • 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 large cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper

For the Chicken

  • 1 large frying or roasting chicken (3½ pounds)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon (cut into quarters)
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
  • 40 garlic cloves (separated but not peeled)
  • 1½ cups white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley (minced, for garnish)
  1. Thoroughly mix the herb rub ingredients together.
  2. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the skin with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Apply the herb rub evenly over the chicken, including within the cavity. Place the lemon quarters in the cavity along with the herb sprigs. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. In a saucepan, sauté the remaining olive oil and garlic cloves over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and stock and cook for 3 minutes longer.
  5. In an ovenproof casserole dish large enough to hold the chicken, add the garlic-wine-stock mixture. Place the chicken in the casserole, cover, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, raise the oven temperature to 400°F, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes longer, or until the juices run clear when the thigh joint is pierced. (Be sure that some liquid always remains in the bottom of the casserole to prevent scorching. If it is evaporating away, add a little more wine or stock—you don’t want the garlic cloves to get dry and burn.)
  6. Remove the chicken, let it rest in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes, and cut it into serving pieces. Place the pieces on a warm platter and spoon the pan juices over the top. Arrange the garlic cloves around the chicken, and garnish with minced basil or parsley.

—Recipe from

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