Julia Child also had this recipe in an article called “40 Cloves of Garlic May Not Be Enough,” published in Gourmet Magazine in 1974. And James Beard prepared this dish when he visited Julia for dinner. If you’re an avid garlic lover, 40 cloves of garlic really may not be enough!
The original recipe in the Times used somewhat more vermouth (¾ cup altogether) and had a dash of brandy. James Beard also added some diced carrots.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is relatively easy to prepare since much of the time spent on it comes from the roasting.
⅔ cup olive oil
8 chicken drumsticks
8 chicken thighs
4 celery ribs, cut into 4 inch-long strips
2 cups chopped onion
6 parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
½ cup dry vermouth
2½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
dash grated nutmeg
40 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Sliced French bread
I followed the New York Times recipe except for the nutmeg. I grated the nutmeg at the last moment, with about 5 minutes left on the timer. I prefer to use fresh herbs to dried ones. I peeled the garlic as I like the browned garlic taste, as the caramelization and texture add complexity to the buttery flavor of the garlic. I also broiled the chicken uncovered for the last 2 minutes to get crispy skin on the chicken.
“Invite your guests to spread the softened garlic on the bread. They will find that the strong flavor has disappeared, leaving a wonderful, buttery paste perfumed with garlic.” James Beard
On a health note: Garlic may not have the many benefits often attributed to it. These include: lowering blood pressure, fighting colds, and cancer prevention. Evidence remains weak for any actual health benefits. Garlic, however, has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute as having potential anti-cancer properties.