Garlic Chicken

Poulet “aux 40 Gousses d’Ail”

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

The garlic, squeezed from its hull and spread onto grilled crisp slices of rough country bread as one eats the chicken, will be appreciated by all who do not share the mental antigarlic quirk; if the bread can be grilled over hot coals, the light smoky flavor will be found to marry particularly well with the garlic purée.

For variety’s sake, turn, quarter, and choke 3 or 4 tender young artichokes, coating them immediately in the recipe’s olive oil before mixing all the ingredients together.


  • 1 chicken, cut up as for a sauté (or 4 legs, thighs and drumsticks, separated)
  • 4 heads (6 ounces) firm garlic, broken into cloves, cleared of loose hulls, but unpeeled
  • cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely crumbled mixed dried herbs (thyme, oregano, savory)
  • 1 large bouquet garni: large branch celery, parsley and root (if available), bay leaf, leek greens, small branch lovage (if available)
  • Flour for dough


Put everything except the bouquet into an earthenware casserole, turning around and over repeatedly with your hands to be certain of regularly dispersed seasoning and liberal and even coating of oil. Force the bouquet into the center, packing the chicken around and filling all interstices with garlic cloves. Prepare a dough of flour, water, and a dribble of oil, roll it into a long cylindrical band on a floured board, moisten the ridge of the casserole, press the roll of paste into place, and press the lid on top. Cook in a 350° oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes and break the seal of paste at the table.