Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is an Internet favorite these days. Just about everyone has made it, and with good reason. When that chicken comes out of the oven, roasted with 40 cloves of golden, oozing garlic cloves and fragrant herbs and spices, the smell is almost heavenly, as is the taste. However, as easy as sticking something in the oven for hours may be, sometimes you just don’t want to leave the oven on all day. For this reason, I decided that I could just use my crock pot instead. True, the skin isn’t as crispy as it would have been in the oven, but I’m sure that it’s a thousand times juicier, and the flavors meld together just as well as they would have in the oven, as they are contained in my little crock pot. The garlic becomes almost buttery after three hours in the pot with the chicken, herbs, olive oil, and white wine, and the chicken itself has the most delicious skin and juicy meat. My husband made mashed potatoes go to along with this, and we decided to remove from of the garlic cloves from the chicken and mash them up to add to the potatoes; a genius move on our part, I assure you. I made a gravy with the leftover juices and garlic by mashing the garlic through a mesh sieve and simmering the juices and garlic paste with a bit of butter. The leftovers for this meal were happily eaten the next day, and I will certainly continue to make this classic dish in my crock pot.
This was my first attempt in breaking down a raw chicken on my own. It was a bit difficult; they’re so slippery when they’re raw! If you feel confident in breaking down a whole chicken on your own, feel free, but I highly recommend buying a fryer chicken (a whole, pre-broken down chicken) for this recipe, as my skills weren’t so great and my chicken seemed a bit butchered! Alas, I’ll keep trying! Any tips?
Peel your 40 cloves of garlic by either placing the flat side of a chef’s knife over the clove and smacking down on it with your hand, or use the palm of your hand. I prefer to use my knife, but be careful! Here’s a good video demonstrating what I’m talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th1YOvG5VgQ.
Fry the garlic with a tablespoon or two of olive oil until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes over medium heat. Deglaze your pan with 3/4 cup of white wine, and stir until half of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and wine mixture to the pot, where you’ve already placed your chicken pieces (rubbed with salt and pepper). Sprinkle your thyme and rosemary over the chicken, and add 1 bay leaf. Put the lid on the chicken and set on low for 3-4 hours (I cooked mine for 3 1/2 hours).
When your chicken is ready, move it to a platter and cover with foil so it stays hot. Strain the juices through a mesh sieve, then place the garlic in the same sieve and push through as much as you can to create a paste.
- 3½-4 pound fryer chicken (chicken cut into serving pieces)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 40 cloves of garlic, peeled but still whole (about 3 bulbs of garlic)
- ¾ cup white wine (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Spray the inside of your crock pot with non-stick spray. Rub the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place in the crock pot.
- Heat your olive oil in a small skillet and add the peeled, whole garlic (here’s a short video demonstrating how to peel garlic easily and quickly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th1YOvG5VgQ). Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until the garlic is golden, then add the white wine and stir until the liquid has mostly evaporated, another 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Pour the garlic and white wine over the chicken in the crock pot, and sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over everything. Add in the bay leaf. Turn the crock pot to low and cook for 3-4 hours (I did mine for 3½ hours). When ready, remove the chicken and place on a separate platter, then cover with foil to retain its heat. Set aside.
- Pour the juices from the pot through a mesh sieve into a pot, then press the garlic through the sieve to form a paste. Cook the gravy with a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Serve over the chicken with potatoes, vegetables, or crusty bread and enjoy! Serves 3-4.