Poulet aux 40 Gousses d'Ail
(French Provencal roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic)
Like many Provencal favorites, this dish is simple and straightforward yet packed with flavor. Forty cloves of garlic certainly sound like a lot, but slow cooking mellows the garlic to a creamy sweetness.
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is authentically baked in an earthenware dish, its lid sealed with a flour paste to keep moisture in. This recipe uses a regular Dutch oven sealed with aluminum foil and is a fine substitute.
4 to 6 servings
- Whole roasting chicken -- 3 to 4 pounds
- Garlic cloves, unpeeled -- 40, or about 3 full heads
- Water or white wine -- 1 cup
- Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
- Fresh thyme -- 2 or 3 sprigs
- Fresh parsley -- 2 or 3 sprigs
- Bay leaf -- 1
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Oven to 325°F. Season the chicken in and out with salt and pepper. Place the garlic cloves in the bottom of ovenproof Dutch oven. Add the water or wine and olive oil and toss to coat the garlic.
- Set the chicken on top of the bed of garlic cloves. The the herbs together with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni and stuff it underneath the chicken.
- Cover the top of the Dutch oven with a piece of aluminum foil, then cover tightly with a lid. Place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Serve hot with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. The softened pods of garlic are wonderful squeezed and spread onto slices of bread.
Poulet aux 40 Gousses d'Ail Variations
- For extra flavor, put a chopped onion, a chopped carrot and a chopped stalk of celery in the center cavity of the chicken.
- A sprig of sage can be added to the bouquet garni.