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chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

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My parents used to make this legendary dish, and maybe they still do. I remember it having chicken, apricot, prunes and most exciting – 40 cloves of garlic. Sounds a little odd (prunes?) but trust me when I say it was delicious.

So when I saw the recipe in Food & Wine for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, I was instantly brought back to that meal, sitting around the table with guests, gleefully spreading cloves of roasted garlic on crusty bread. I always loved  that chicken dish, long before I knew of James Beard and knew that it was his influence that made this French classic popular here in the US. If you love garlic, this is a must. And if you don’t? Don’t tell me. I’ll be crushed.

I suppose you wouldn’t have to add all 40 cloves, but half of the fun part is the roasted garlic. The other half? The delicious smells coming from the crock pot as it cooks.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic – 4 servings inspired by Food & Wine

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • lots of garlic (I used about 2 large heads of it) *Separate the cloves, but don’t peel them!
  • salt & pepper
  • olives (if desired, I just put a few on my plate)

Heat the butter in a large saute pan. When melted add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Add white wine and chicken stock to hot pan, scraping up the brown bits from the pan. Set aside.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in crock pot. Nestle the garlic cloves around the chicken. Pour liquid mixture over the chicken and cook on high for about 2 1/2 hours or low for about 5 hours.

The roasted garlic is best with a touch of sea salt – just don’t forget the crusty bread!

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  1. Roxan

    Oh, this is made in a crock pot?? I must make this! I can already imagine walking in the front door after a day of work, greeted by the scent of roasting garlic. Heaven.

    • Emily

      Yes!! Hehe!
      You leave the peels on and then when it is all done, you can just squeeze the roasted garlic right out of the peels. I think if you peeled them they would dissolve, which would be delicious, but wouldn’t allow for spreading… (I think*)

  2. Lawyer Loves Lunch

    Golly, this looks good! I can’t wait to give this a go. It’s a good thing the hubster and I aren’t dating. Otherwise, I’d be hesitant. Since we’re hitched, he’ll be stuck with my garlic breath.

  3. Dana

    This sounds so delicious!! Can it be made with chicken breasts instead of thighs? I’m not a big dark meat fan. Also, do you use chicken on or off the bone for this?

    • Emily

      Yes, you could definitely swap out the thighs for breasts. The thighs were on the bone, but you wouldn’t have to have the bone.