A Chicken and 40 Cloves of Garlic

About a year ago, I changed over my Saveur magazine subscription from print to iPad. I finally admitted to myself that I just can’t do food magazines in eReader format. I just love the feel of the printed magazine in my hand, the ability to dog-ear the pages or write notes and ideas in the margins or leave a few grease prints across the pages as I cook. So when my first issue in print appeared in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. And I am happy to report that my pages are dog-eared; I have notes everywhere and after making this dish last eve, have grease lovingly dotting page 38.

I have seen many versions of this recipe over the  years and realized that I had never actually made chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.  I was perusing the pages while on a flight back from CA last week and page 38 stopped me cold. Beautifully browned chicken swimming in a garlicky sauce – mouthwatering yumminess.  And then I realized that the photo credit said ‘Penny de los Santos’ – the  photographer whose online food photography course I recently took.  How could I not make this dish!  So for dinner last eve, it was Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic – yummy! The garlic just melts into the sauce and adds an incredible depth of flavor.  And with the exception of the time consuming peeling of the garlic, this dish comes together in 30 minutes.  The only change I made was to double the amount of stock used – it made for a more yummy sauce.  I really owe the photo credit on this one to Penny as well – I tried to emulate her photo and style as I continue to learn the tricks of food photography.  So open some wine and get peeling! Happy Friday and buon appetito!

Chicken with 40 Cloves

Reprinted from Saveur, October 2012



3 tbsp. olive oil
1 (3 to 4-lb.) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
40 cloves garlic, peeled (you can use up to 100 cloves)
½ cup dry vermouth
¾ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. chopped tarragon


Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to an 8″ x 8″ baking dish; set aside. Add garlic to pot; cook until browned in spots, about 6 minutes. Add vermouth; cook, scraping bottom of pot, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add stock; boil. Transfer ¼ of the garlic to baking dish; mash remaining into stock. Pour over chicken; bake until chicken is glazed and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with tarragon.

Join the Conversation

  1. Anything with that amount of garlic is ok by me! Will give this a try on the weekend, can’t wait! Thanks.

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Enjoy and have a great weekend! Michele

  2. Your post title immediately grabbed my attention – I loved the whole thing. Keep up with the wonderful content. Thanks for sharing! I’ve got another to do now on my list. A thumbs up from a fellow foodie! ~ ayoungfoodie.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, ayoungfoodie!

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