Saturday, May 16, 2009

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 1

Years ago, while flipping through Cosmo, I came upon mention of a Barefoot Contessa chicken dish with 40 cloves of garlic. Egads! That's a lot of garlic! Apparently, this dish results in a "dinner he'll adore," promised the magazine. The thought of 40 cloves of garlic stayed with me. I don't know why she settled on 40. Why not 25 cloves of garlic? Or 50? I like round numbers. Or to be contrary, 37 cloves of garlic? Well, 40 cloves works out to be about three heads of garlic so maybe that was her round number.

Ever the garlic lover, and dubious of women's magazines that claim a dish will cause men to adore me or engagement proposals, I decided to make this dish and my usual baked chicken recipe but with 40 cloves of garlic. And gosh, don't men adore me anyway? Don't tell me they don't? *Sniffle.*

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Adapted from Ina Garten's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic from "Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home" via Cosmopolitan Magazine

For 1 chicken, or 8 pieces, you'll need:
1 3-lb chicken, or 8 pieces
3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
1 small onion, diced
3 tsp salt
1 to 2 cups white wine
As many rosemary sprigs as you'd like
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 tblsp olive oil

This recipe makes enough for one whole chicken, or eight pieces. Since I was saving my whole chicken to make baked chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, I substituted with some drumsticks I had on hand.

I did say 40 cloves of garlic. That's three heads. Just lightly smash the garlic with the side of your knife to loosen the skin and then peel.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 2

On medium-high heat, brown chicken in about 2 tblsp olive oil. Set aside.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 3

Then toss in the peeled garlic and saute until softened.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 4

Toss in as many rosemary sprigs as you'd like.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 5

Add the diced onion and saute again until softened.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 6

Add 1 to 2 cups white wine. If you're not a big wine drinker, sometimes I buy mini-sized bottles. The wine doesn't go to waste and I only use what I need.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 7

Dissolve 1/2 cup flour in 1 cup milk. Stir until the lumps are gone and add it to the pot.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 8

Add the browned chicken back in. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the dish braise for about 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 9

I really liked the tender garlic and the gravy-like sauce was perfect for potatoes.

Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 10

But in all honesty, the dish was just a little boring for me. Perhaps it's because in a head-to-head competition with Baked Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Lemon, and Rosemary, especially with dry brining, the baked chicken wins every time.


Other braised chicken dishes you might like:
Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Coq Au Vin (French Chicken with Wine)
Malaysian Mango Chicken Curry
Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

1 year ago today, Ruby's Diner - Commerce.
2 years ago today, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue - La Verne.


  1. Now, I will have to try both your chicken versions to see which I prefer. Both sounds delicious!!! :)

  2. I agree with the previous commenter - now I've got to try both and see which one I like the best.

  3. Ning,
    I think this version would have been OK if I hadn't ever had my baked chicken.

    Can't hurt to try both for yourself to see which you like better.

  4. lovely lovely lovely lovely. i'm making this tonight. i've been meaning to make this ever since you posted it. i am not however going to do the 40 cloves of garlic thing. i'm thinking 5 is enough. :)

    what did you serve this with?

  5. Lan,
    Only 5? Maybe a head of garlic instead? You need more for garlic flavor. Honestly though, this was a little bland for me. But if you serve it with mashed potatoes, the sauce is pretty good.

  6. i put in 10 cloves. the roommate has stomach issues with too much garlic. it was AWESOME. very tasty, i had to fight the roommate out of the kitchen, she kept trying to snag a taste. we ended up just eating it with steamed broccoli.

  7. Why bother doing it at all if you're not going to do it right? 10 cloves of garlic, served with steamed broccoli? A shame.

    Ina Garten did not invent chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It's a very famous and very old dish that has been made many ways, including whole and oven-roasted, and it's always been called 40 cloves of garlic just to sound interesting and mysterious and also recognizable

  8. Lan,
    Funny! Once, I came across someone "adapting" one of my recipes and "drastically" reducing the garlic. She went from 2 cloves in my recipe to 1. :P I guess some people really can't handle garlic.

    Some people just can't handle garlic I guess? No problem. Everyone has different tastebuds. Yup! I'd actually heard of 40 cloves of garlic chicken before the Barefoot Contessa version, but it seemed like a good jumping off point to adapt from.


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