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Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner


  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
  • 2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, cut into eighths
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fat (ghee, lard, tallow, etc…)
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)


  1. Separate the cloves of garlic (don’t peel them) and drop them in a pot of boiling water for about 60-90 seconds. Strain the garlic out, allow to cool slightly and then peel. Set aside.
  2. Dry the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the 3 tablespoons of fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. When a batch is done, transfer to a large crock pot and continue the process until all the chicken is browned.
  4. Add all the garlic to the pot containing the fat. Lower the heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, turning the garlic, until evenly cooked and browned.
  5. Add the Cognac and white wine and return to a boil, scraping any of the browned pieces off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the thyme leaves and pour the entire pan of garlic and liquid over the chicken in the crock pot.
  7. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the crock pot to a large serving platter. Taste the sauce at this point and add in some Celtic Sea Salt (or table salt) and pepper to taste. If the sauce is not thick enough for your preference I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder at this point. Arrowroot tends to lose its ability to thicken if cooked. But adding it at the end, after the sauce has cooled down, seems to work well. Personally, I thought the sauce was fine without being thickened. Especially because I used some of it to flavor the “Cauliflower Rice” dish that I served with the chicken.