Chicken with Forty, Yep…that’s 40, Cloves of Garlic…AKA The Stinking Rose

| March 18, 2010 | 4 Comments

I’ve always been fascinated with the name of this recipe but never tried it until now. Perhaps it was the thought of peeling three whole heads of garlic that held me back. While searching for a recipe to use as a guide, one from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home caught my attention. She offers a method for peeling the garlic with some ease ( see recipe below). Bingo! Ina, you did it again.

Forty Cloves of Garlic

I have long been a fan of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipes. 1. They’re never intimidating and 2. They always work. Her recipe for Turkey Meat Loaf is terrific. Beware, though; it calls for 5 pounds of ground turkey.

Until now, I assumed that this recipe was a French provincial dish, but a recent post in convinced me that the likely origin is Catalonia which has long been on the cutting edge of gastronomy. This would be the autonomous region of Spain of which Barcelona is the capital. This would also be where the restaurant el Bulli, considered by many to be the best restaurant in the world, is located.

Assuming this is an ancient recipe, let’s say Medieval or 500-1500 years old, what was cutting edge, gastronomically speaking, then?  Maybe this was it. One can certainly believe that a large handful of garlic wields phenomenal power. Raw garlic is powerful; pulverize enough of it and you could probably make a train take a dirt road or an onion cry.

I could go on and on about garlic but let’s cut to the chase and make this recipe.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Adapted from a recipe in Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home by Ina Garten

This recipe and the one for Coq au Riesling are well worth committing to your recipe files. Both are comforting, can be dressed up for company or made simple for weeknight fare. The copious amount of garlic surrenders to the heat and other influences and arrives on the table as a sweet, buttery lamb, spreadable on bread or just right as a morsel for nibbling on along with the chicken and gravy.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

  1. 3 heads of garlic, about 40 cloves
  2. 1 3 1/2-pound (1.6 kg.) whole chicken, cut into serving pieces*
  3. Kosher salt
  4. Fresh ground black pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) butter, unsalted
  6. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) olive oil
  7. 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) Cognac or brandy
  8. 1 1/2 cups (360 ml.) dry white wine
  9. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) fresh thyme leaves
  10. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) all-purpose flour
  11. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) heavy cream
  • Separate the cloves from each head and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and peel each clove then set aside.
  • Rinse and dry the chicken. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  • Add the butter and oil in a heavy pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté the chicken pieces, skin side down first until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Turn and continue browning on the other side.
  • Remove browned chicken and keep warm while continuing with remaining chicken pieces.
  • When all the chicken is browned, keep warm on a platter tented with aluminum foil.
  • Add the garlic cloves to the pot. Lower the heat and sauté for 5-10 minutes, turning often until each clove is evenly browned.
  • Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) of the Cognac and the wine to the pot, return to a boil while scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the chicken along with any juices to the pot and scatter with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  • Remove the chicken to a platter again and tent to keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pan with the flour to blend then whisk back into the pan.
  • Raise the heat, add the remaining Cognac and the cream and boil for about 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

*The original recipe calls for 2 chickens; however, I found the amount of sauce to chicken perfect for one. Should I ever make it with 2 chickens, I will increase the sauce ingredients.

The quality of the ingredients of any recipe along with the method of bringing them together always play into the outcome and final taste of any recipe. At The Taste of Oregon we’re especially fond of the spirits produced by Clear Creek Distillery in Portland and used their Oregon Pot Distilled Brandy for the Cognac. Likewise for the WillaKenzie Estate 2008 Estate Grown Pinot Gris we used for the wine. Oregon offers many fine Pinot Gris with each one possessing its own terroir. Click here to view a video tour of WillaKenzie Estate. Always use a wine that you would be proud to serve at your table and, if it makes sense, enjoy your food with the same wine. Although the WillaKenzie Estate Winery is sold out of this vintage, many retailers may still have an inventory.


Willakenzie Estates 2008 Pinot Gris

“The 2008 vintage was a classic Oregon nail-biting, nerve-wracking exercise with a win on the finish line. Beginning with a cold late winter, 2008 continued into a very cool spring with March and April temperatures about 3 degrees below average. The 50% budbreak mark was not reached until the 2nd of May, and 50% véraison, when roughly half of the berries have changed color, did not occur until September 5th. For a while it looked like we would have a disaster on our hands, but Mother Nature took mercy on us by delivering less than 1.5” of rain in September and 2.4” in October, with sunny days and cool nights in both months. The result is excellent ripeness due to prolonged hang time, good acidity and lower levels of alcohol. A winemaker’s dream! We started harvest on October 1st, with the Terres Basses vineyard as usual, finishing on October 30th just before the downpour began. We are extremely pleased with the 2008 wines, which show finesse, concentration and great balance.”

“Aromas of fresh pear, peach and apricot are followed by undertones of melon, green apple, lemon zest and orange blossom. The peach and pear notes carry through to the flavor profile complemented by tropical fruit tones of pineapple, papaya and kiwi. Rich and smooth in the mouth with a mouthwatering finish, the wine will be an excellent companion for a wide variety of foods including smoked salmon, grilled halibut or Ahi tuna with mango salsa, chicken and pork, blue cheeses, Asian fare, fish tacos or a vegetable curry. Enjoy now or cellar for 2 to 3 years. Serve moderately chilled.”

WillaKenzie Estate

Reviews for Pinot Gris 2008

Wine & Spirits - 91 POINTS
“Leesy and bright, this forward gris leads with aromas of ripe apple and peach, accented by a bit of nutmeg spice. Its flavors are bright and broad at once; the texture is mouth-filling and rich, yet the wine retains a fresh, focused line from lively acidity.” February 2010

Wine Spectator - 90 POINTS, The Value Diaries
“For the past year, I’ve been on a mission to seek out wines made from organic, biodynamic or sustainably farmed grapes. I look for the new Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine logo, now on 2008 whites and to be seen with more frequency on the 2008 Pinot Noirs coming this spring. For Pinot Gris, producers such as WillaKenzie make good quantities for $20 or less.”
Dana Nigro, WS Senior Editor, Jan. 31 - Feb 28, 2010

Wine Spectator - 90 POINTS, Top Value
Harvey Steiman’s Recommended Wines From Oregon
Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2010

The New York Times, Tasting Report: Oregon Pinot Gris
“….. juicy and herbaceous, with spicy, mineral flavors.”
Eric Asimov, February 3, 2010

Wine Spectator - 90 POINTS, SMART BUY
“This bright, juicy white offers flavors of pineapple and melon that persist into the finish, which is long and vivid.”
Harvey Steiman, November 9, 2009

Wine News - 91 POINTS
“Pale gold with lime green glints. Floral and green fruit aromas… Flavors of crisp green apple and pear… Displays an appealing softness in the medium finish.” - Tom Hyland, Fall 2009

Bon appétit

— Charles

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Category: Poultry

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

Comments (4)

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  1. Aileen says:

    Isn’t garlic divine? I love it ! And I have made a similar recipe many times. The garlic flavor is soooo mellow and when done, I barely want the chicken - I just want to mush up the garlic and eat it on bread ! PS - I love your shot of all the cloves of garlic 🙂

  2. Anne Thompson says:

    Charles, you’ve done it again. I can only hope that making and eating this will be as fun as reading about it!

  3. VPanichkul says:

    I can vouch…it was simply lip-smacking good.

  4. Lindsey says:

    I LOVE WillaKenzie wine ever since a friend brought it back to me in TN and I LOVE garlic. This is just terrific and I can’t wait to pair the two together!

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