40 cloves garlic chicken. Just writing those words I can smell the aroma that is still lingering in my house. This classic rustic French dish is generously rich in flavor. An oldie but super yummy recipe that somehow is not gracing our tables as much.
I slightly made a change and from 40 cloves of garlic, I added at least 70 garlic cloves. Do not, however, let the quantities of garlic intimidate you. Once you have them in the oven they will lose the bite and keep the mellow sweetness. Combined with the extra dry white vermouth. you have a combination that will burst into your mouth with flavor.
Provencal origins, southern France, this dish is so easy to make. It was introduced to this country back in the late 1960 and early 1970 by the great American chef James Beard.
The perfect fall comfort food.
How to quickly can you peel all those garlic cloves?
I am sure this question is swirling in your mind, and it should be. That is a lot of garlic to peel.
There are a few easy ways.
- One way is to purchase, and well all should have one, a must, garlic peeler, and start rolling the garlic until the outer thin shell is peeled off. Below link to my favorite, I have 2 just in case.
- Another quick way is to smash a dry head of garlic with the heel of your hand to separate all the cloves. Place all the clove into a metal container, (it will not work into a plastic container) and invert a second metal container over the first. You feel as you are holding a metal ball filled with unpeeled garlic clove. Hold both bowls together at the rims and shake the heck out of it. Put on some music if you have to, but shake away for 10 to 20 seconds. Lift the top lid and you will found that the garlic will slip right out of the skin.
- The third way, or the lazy way: buy peeled garlic. Although this may be the easiest way, sometimes the garlic has been sitting in the container and lost some of the fragrance.
- To save time have your butcher cut up the chicken into 8 pieces. I found it so much easier too.
- Be generous with the seasoning of the salt and pepper on all sides.
- Dutch oven pots are idyllic to sear poultry and any type of meat. My favorite are Le Creuset as they distribute the heat evenly and have a very heavy bottom that induces even distribution of heat. From stove to oven.
- Do not touch the chicken while the skin is browning. With the help of tongs move the chicken pieces slightly to see if they move around. If you feel tension they are not done yet. You do not want to turn them prematurely and breaking the skin from the chicken.
- Turn the chicken only once and transfer it to a baking dish. I would recommend one with a slightly higher border so all the juices are staying collected tightly.
- Do not use too wide of a baking dish. The pieces need to be close to each other but not one over the other.
- I always use cooking tongs to turn the meat that I am cooking.
- When adding alcohol to a hot pan, I recommend turning off the heat and adding it very slowly. Keep all clothing, sleeves of the shirt, away from the heat source and pan. Alcohol and grease have a tendency to splatter and you want to keep your face away.
- Mashing half of the garlic gives a beautiful fragrant aroma to your sauce.
One tip that I picked up long ago. After handling garlic your hands will always carry that garlic scent. To make it go away, rub your hands around a metal bowl. The metal removes it from your hands. You will love it!
Side dishes suggestions to this wonderful 40 Cloves Garlic Chicken:
Potatoes are always my favorite when it comes to a side dish of chicken. But then I am French and any opportunity to enjoy potatoes, we take it. You may also want to go with a light salad as well.
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Equipment and Products used to prepare this wonderful recipe
40 Cloves Garlic Chicken
- 50 mins total
- 10 mins prep
- 40 mins cook
- serves 6 people
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 4 pounds chicken cut into 8 pieces
salt and pepper
½ cup extra dry vermouth
¾ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Heat oven to 350F
Heat oil in a 6 quarts Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, all sides. Add to pot and cook undisturbed until skin is golden brown, and you can turn the pieces over with no difficulties. Turn only once.
Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, 8”x8” dish, set aside.
Add garlic to the pot and cook until browned in some spots, about 5 minutes. Add vermouth and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Transfer half the garlic cloves to the baking dish. Mash the remaining garlic cloves into stock and pour over the chicken.
Bake until glazed and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with tarragon and serve.
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