One, Two, Three ... Forty Cloves of Garlic

BlogHer Original Post

A classic chicken recipe calls for 40 cloves of garlic! Shocking, isn't it? Not 4 cloves, not even 10 cloves, but 40! But home cooks love their recipes for 40-clove garlic chicken and work to perfect the recipes to match their families' taste. If you've not tried garlic chicken yet, I've collected several variations to get you started.

But first, let's learn a little about garlic. Naturally, we start with The Perfect Pantry, because Lydia is famous for sharing the inside scoop about pantry ingredients, things we didn't know but are happy to learn.

1. Americans came late to garlic as a culinary delicacy, but in Egypt, it was popular 5,000 years ago, so popular, in fact, that slaves building the great pyramids were fed garlic to boost their strength.
2. The word garlic comes from the Old English garleac, meaning spear leek.

For seven more facts about garlic (and a recipe), you'll enjoy Garlic (Recipe: Tunisian fish ball tagine).

Many of us identify with a particular cuisine, usually the cuisine of our heritage. But can we grow up associated with a mere clove of garlic? We can!

"Growing up Garlic, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

"For me, and perhaps my brother and sister, garlic could be the first and oldest aroma in our olfactory memories. Our mother embraces garlic the way most people embrace water—for us, they are of equal importance to daily consumption and could by now possibly be of equal ratio in our bodies. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but without a doubt we were raised to identify the taste of garlic not by its presence, but how, when, and where it is absent. ...

"Growing up Garlic is not only important, it is magical. Embrace it. Realize and learn about the versatility in using it — adapt, like garlic does. Explore how a bond of friendship can be made not only with garlic, but also with co-patriots of its protection and consumption. Garlic not only helps your heart, it resembles a heart-shape when held upside down. That is no coincidence or mistake; nature doesn’t make mistakes. Garlic is the heart of the kitchen, and its pulse can nourish all corners of the palate, soul, and body. Only if, however, you let it — as you should. As we all should."

Excerpted from a lovely essay by guest blogger Adam Foldes, titled Growing Up Garlic at Kitchen Caravan

But okay, I promised recipes for 40-clove garlic chicken and here they are, slightly different, perfected over time. One will bring out the vampire in you.

WHOLE CHICKEN from Nami-Nami
~ Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic ~
"Here's a dish that I made several times during last year - and hope to make again as soon as the fresh, new season's garlic appears on the market stalls in a couple of months. It's a dish that I had been intrigued by for ages - imagine, 40 whole garlic cloves to season just one chicken! - and when I finally made it, I fell instantly in love with it. When researching the dish, I came across several and very different versions. After making it several times, I've settled for this minimalist one."

CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS & THIGHS from Life's Ambrosia
~ 40-Clove Chicken ~
"As a garlic lover, I have tried and failed to make this dish on many occasions. ... and now I have finally perfected it. Sure there is still 40 cloves of garlic, after all it is 40 clove chicken, but the whole gloves remain intact providing a sweet garlicky taste that is not too over powering."

WITH CREAM from Anne's Food
~ Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic ~
"If you think it's hard work to peel garlic - I know I did - blanching them really, really works. It makes it so much easier, and when the garlic is roasted like this, the flavor isn't compromised at all."

FOR THE SLOW COOKER from A Year of Crockpotting
~ Slow Cooker - 20 to 40 Clove Garlic Chicken ~
"This is wonderful! The onion and garlic had a mild, nutty garlic flavor that was a bit sweet."

HOLD THE CHICKEN, LET'S MAKE SOUP from Smitten Kitchen
~ 44-clove Garlic Soup
"... the soup has 44 cloves of garlic in it. 28 are roasted and then peeled, 18 peeled and then simmered, and somehow the outcome is subtle, but not boring. ... “If everyone ate more garlic, the world would be a happier place,” [Ruth Reichl] says, and if this soup is any indication, I wholeheartedly agree."

MORE GARLICKY GOODNESS
Not ready for 40 cloves of garlic? These recipes are good ways to work up the garlic appetite!

Fury & the Feast ~ Super Garlic Parmesan Bread
Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes ~ Garlic Shrimp
She Wears Many Hats ~ White Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic
Taste Food ~ Potato Rosemary Garlic White Pizza
dlyn ~ Caramelized Broccoli with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
The Hungry Mouse ~ Roasted Garlic Three Ways
Perry's Plate ~ Roasted Garlic Bacon Dip

And you?
And you, what's your favorite way to gobble garlic? Leave a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!

BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg learned How to Roast Garlic and now throws a head of garlic into the oven whenever roasting vegetables or cooking a stew.

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