The Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Experiment

March sure has come in like a lion.  First, we are getting a puppy! Our endeavor has been a rollercoaster, mostly due to my allergies which limit the pooches I’m able to snuggle. When we stumbled across the Bernedoodles (Bernese Mountain Dogs bred with Poodles) we fell in LOVE but countless breeders only had puppies “that would be available in September” or litters that were all reserved with a double digit wait list. I work on the primary school schedule and did not want to pass up the opportunity to train and bond during the summer months.  After several strikeouts we’d gotten pretty down on the process.


Then, on a whim, the hubs reached out one more time to a breeder multiple friends had recommended.  Unexpectedly, she had a family fall through that day and the puppy was in need of a home! The timing was impeccable and we went to meet him last weekend. The little guy is curious, adventurous, and friendly, and he comes home in two days.  (We think he will grow to a decent size – look at those limbs!)

golden doodle puppy_2.PNG

Then, this morning we had a snow day and I knew I wanted to capitalize on a full day of unplanned freedom…so I made something off of my ‘cooking bucket list’.  Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic has intrigued me for a while and so after shoveling I set to work. (Here is our cat, Cheese, curious about the weather but unwilling to venture out).

cat in snow.PNG

This New York Times recipe was my base and I was pleased with how it turned out. First, I layered the dutch oven with onions, celery, tarragon, and fresh parsley. Then I layered chicken thighs and drumsticks and topped them with dry vermouth, salt, and pepper. Lastly I tucked the garlic cloves (with the skins ON) in between the chicken.  Our house filled with amazing smells as this dish slowly cooked for 90 minutes in the oven.

chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.PNG

I adapted the original recipe a bit by withholding the nutmeg. I also browned the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes with the lid off because I like a crispier final skin.  The hubs separated the oil and the chicken juices, reduced it on the stove for a pan sauce, and added a roux to turn it into a light gravy that was packed with flavor! We served all this with a mushroom barley risotto-type dish and some nice red wine. 


**Adding This Post To the Fiesta Friday Fun! Hosted by Abbey @ Three Cats and a Girl and Antonia @** Check it out!

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Print

What’s better than juicy and flavorful chicken that has been steamed in a garlicky sauna? Oh, the warm buttery garlic that you get to spread on french bread, that’s what!


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 8 chicken thighs  (bone in skin on)
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 3 small onions chopped (2 cups)
  • 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled (3 full heads)
  • A baguet of French bread

Steps & Notes

  1. Preheat the oven to 345 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken into a shallow dish with the olive oil and coat evenly.
  3. Cut each celery into two long thin ribs. Then cut into 4 inch length strips.
  4. Place the celery, onions, parsley, and tarragon at the bottom of a large dutch oven. Then, layer the chicken on top.
  5. Pour the vermouth over the chicken and add the salt and pepper, adjusting the chicken if necessary to ensure an even coat.
    1. Note: it is important to add the vermouth first so it does not wash away the salt.
  6. Place the garlic cloves in the pan all around the chicken (next to, underneath, etc).
  7. Cover the dish with foil and then with a lid.
  8. Bake for 90 minutes without opening the lid.
  9. Optional: Remove the chicken and increase the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the chicken for 8-10 more minutes to brown the skin a bit.
  10. While that is cooking, spoon the juices into a separator and pour just the chicken drippings into a sauce pan.  
  11. Serve the warm chicken with the juices.  Enjoy the garlic by squeezing each clove onto the toasted French bread for a warm buttery spread.



  1. […] chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. (I’m obsessed with this recipe despite never making it […]


  2. mistimaan · · Reply

    Loved the recipe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my, what a gorgeous little boy you will be getting. I am sure Cheese will warm up to him or be very curious of the new addition 🙂
    40 cloves of garlic chicken is a recipe I have been planning on making for literally years ! I kid you not. Thanks for the reminder…this is going to be made. Your version sounds divine. Can’t wait to tuck into this one. Have a lovely weekend 🙂 and enjoy your cute little fur baby 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you have a great weekend as well! This dish was so tasty – it really surprised me in a delightful way. Make sure to have fresh bread with it when you make it. Also, I’ll be sure to post more puppy pics soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness this dog is beyond adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait for him to be home with us tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So exciting !


  5. Your chicken sounds delicious but your new baby is just adorable! Hope they settle in really well and you all enjoy getting to know eachother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I’ll post updates soon.


  6. […] recipe below is one that we made to serve with the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. The flavors in this risotto didn’t quite stand up to that of the chicken, but then again, it’s […]


  7. Hello!! 🙂 I am one of the co-hosts this week for Fiesta Friday, so I am heading around to everyone’s blogs to check out their exciting Fridays! First off, the puppy is adorable!! Like my word, how can so much cuteness be in one animal!! ❤ Second, I loove garlic and this dish sounds delish!

    Thanks for sharing and being apart of Angie's Fiesta Friday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Our new pup (Toby) has been tons of fun. It’s snowing here today and he can’t get enough. Also, every garlic lover should try this dish. So delish.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How exciting to have your new little guy!! Our next door neighbors have a Bernedoodle (along with their 4 fun kids!), and she’s huge, black and fluffy! We all love her. And the chicken looks delicious– who doesn’t love garlic?? Looks perfect for a chilly evening here…


  9. […] where I’ve reverently documented memories of each of my grandmothers, my mother, our puppy Toby, and traditions from my childhood […]


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