24th September 2014

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, revisited

By MaitreMarcel

The chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is one of those rustic traditional dishes that are a pleasure to make and eat. Forty is just an approximative figure, as in Alibaba and the forty thieves, but there is indeed a lot of garlic in it. You do not peel the garlic but let it cook in oil so that you get a puree that can be spread out on bread. I decided to make a variation and added cubes of raw celery and sweet potato to the garlic in the oil and it was delicious.


  • One chicken
  • Three heads of garlic
  • One sweet potato
  • Half a celery root
  • Some mixed herbs like bay leaf, thyme, marjoram
  • A quarter of a litre of olive oil
  • Flour, water, pepper
  • Coarse bread


  1. Cut the celery and sweet potato in small cubes.
  2. Separate the cloves of garlic from the heads, do not peel.
  3. Put the oil in a pan, add the garlic and heat.
  4. Wash the herbs and put inside the chicken.
  5. Prepare the flour and water into a paste.
  6. Put the vegetables in a Dutch oven or other implement that can be closed.
  7. Pour the oil and garlic over the vegetables.
  8. Put the chicken on top, add some pepper.
  9. Close the pot or Dutch oven and seal with the flour paste
  10. Put in oven at 200°C and cook for a small hour.
  11. Remove from oven, present dish on the table and remove lid; the trapped aromas will escape and hopefully please the noses of the diners.
  12. Cut up the chicken and serve the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
  13. Squeeze the garlic out on pieces of bread.
  14. Keep the garlicky olive oil for later use.