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James Beard’s 40 Garlic Clove Chicken

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40 Garlic Clove Chicken Recipe. You will find that the garlic has been tamed in the cooking and acquired a delicious buttery quality. Serve with hot toast or thin slices of pumpernickel—to be spread with the garlic sauce.


I think it was probably during my short stint at culinary school that I first heard about James Beard. Comments here and there threw in about this culinary master. At first, I just smiled and nodded pretending I had some idea who these people were talking about. It was a while later when I acquired my first Julia Child cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking that I really began to understand who this legend was.


James Beard, Judith Jones, and Julia Child:
Image Credit to Alice Levitt

Maybe you’re young like me or at least young in the food world and are clueless who he is. To wrap up his life in a microscopic manner would be to say that he, “laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy. He was a pioneer foodie, host of the first food program on the fledgling medium of television in 1946, the first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine, and an early champion of local products and markets. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way we eat.” -Quote from James Beard Foundation

He was the first true celebrity chef of America and a prime mentor for all those who followed in his footsteps.

While he passed away before I was even born, he inspired one of his students to found the James Beard Foundation the year after his death. Which among other things bestows the Beard Awards for many categories of food and beverage professionals…think the Oscar’s of the food world.

So he’s kind of a big deal in the food world. For a more full biography of him see this article.


When I found out that a new cookbook, The Essential James Beard Cookbook, compiling some of his best recipes was due to come out at the end of this month I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. With recipes from starters to desserts this little gem packs a major punch with over 450 recipes. It’s like a classic food bible….really check out the categories:

First Courses and Cocktail Food
Beef and Veal
Poultry and Game Birds
Fish and Shellfish
Pasta and Noodles
Rice, Grains, and Beans
Yeast and Quick Bread
Hot, Cold, and Frozen Desserts
Pies and Tarts
Cookies and Bars
Basic Stocks and Sauces

You can’t get much more thorough than that! This book is written in the classic style with no photographs but with plenty of stories and tips and suggestions along the way. While I appreciate the old style from the Chef’s perspective, I’m not normally a huge fan of actually cooking from them because I find them to run more like a list of ingredients…with no recommendations on what I should actually cook and no photos to inspire my decision.

I was very pleased to find great descriptions of the recipes as well as large additional information sections with very detailed information. The sections on souffles and homemade pasta, for example, are packed full of goodies like this:

“Don’t overfold or the egg whites will deflate. There should still be little bits of unincorporated egg white visible.”

It’s those little things that only experience will lend that really make a recipe great, I for one have never had success with a souffle perhaps for the very reason that when it says “fold in the egg whites” that is precisely what I did…..until they were ALL folded in.

This would be a perfect gift for a new cook or to yourself if you are wanting to learn the classics from a true legend.


I was also thrilled to be asked to team up with the California Olive Ranch who is partnering with us on the launch of this amazing cookbook! Which means one of you lucky winners is going to get some out of this world olive oil PLUS a copy of this cookbook too!

In our house, we cook with olive oil almost constantly and I’m sad to say that lately have been buying the big bulk containers from a certain chain store that starts with a W. You know the whole frog in a tea kettle story right?

This apparently has been the story of our olive oil usage lately and I didn’t even realize it. After cooking with this new olive oil this month I have become quite disturbed by the low quality of the stuff we had been using. Yuck. Mr. Beard would have been appalled if he had tasted it.

We received a bottle of their Everyday Olive Oil and their Arbequina oil to try and were very impressed with both of them. We used the Everyday Olive Oil for well….pretty much all of our everyday cooking! It’s clean and fresh tasting without being overpowering in aroma or flavor. I am looking forward to trying it in the Olive Oil bread recipe that they have on their site too. They have all kinds of great recipes over there.

The Arbequina was also nice but definitely a different style, it was fruity and almost a bit floral in flavor and aroma. It would work well in certain marinades very well, I think Kevin’s orange juice marinade would be lovely with it (I’ll get him to try that soon and give us a report). We particularly loved it straight on our fresh salads with a simple Vinaigrette inspired by the basic recipe I found in this book.

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

You will find that the garlic has been tamed in the cooking and acquired a delicious buttery quality. Serve with hot toast or thin slices of pumpernickel—to be spread with the garlic sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Print Pin Recipe


  • 8 chicken leg quarters
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 celery ribs thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or
  • 11/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 21/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40 garlic cloves crushed under a knife and peeled


  • 1. Wash the chicken legs and thighs and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Put the oil in a shallow dish or a plate and turn the chicken in the oil to coat on all sides. Reserve the unused oil.
    2. Lay the sliced celery in the bottom of a heavy casserole or Dutch oven (not uncoated cast iron) with a tightfitting lid.
    3. Add the parsley and tarragon, then lay the chicken pieces on top. Pour the vermouth over the chicken, and add 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the nutmeg.
    4. Pour the reserved oil into the casserole, then toss in all the garlic and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Put a piece of aluminum foil over the casserole and then cover to make a tight seal; or make a thick, heavy flour and water paste to seal the lid, and cover the lid and paste with another layer of foil.
    5. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 11/2 hours without removing the lid.
    6. The drippings were so lovely Kevin whipped up a quick pan gravy with a butter and flour roux. In a saucepan add 2 TB butter and 2 TB flour for every 2 cups of liquid available. Cook down roux until light brown and then quickly add liquid while whisking. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to thicken as desired. Season and serve immediately with chicken, rice or mashed potatoes and a lovely side salad. Serve homemade bread to spread the garlic on.


Reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1373kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 127g | Fat: 83g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 58g | Cholesterol: 655mg | Sodium: 6102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
Author: Dani Meyer
Course : Featured Dinner
dinner recipe, chicken garlic, 40 cloves of garlic, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, garlic sauce, dinner, chicken, easy dinner, butter

I have been terribly upset that over these last two weeks as I have gone to look at these recipes and think about cooking them that I have been being so plagued with this morning sickness. Quite frankly almost everything that is meat based I am really struggling with right now and the smells of onion and garlic has been overwhelming for my stomach. I try to get down some protein each day because I know the baby and I need it but it’s difficult. Combining that with absolute exhaustion and I have quite honestly struggled with this review.


A few days ago I made a modified version of James Beard’s Famous Chicken with 40 cloves of Garlic for Kevin. It turned out pretty good according to Kevin (it was all I could do to cook it and style it), but I have attached the original recipe as I couldn’t taste it. I hope you will make it for your family soon!

Thanks again to St. Martin’s Press and California Olive Ranch for sponsoring this giveaway!


Stress Free Camping Book.

Camp cooking just gotten taken to a whole new level. From family favorites to cocktails, The Stress Free Camping Cookbook has a recipe for your next trip or backyard fire!

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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

I’m the author of Stress Free Camping, a 120+ page guide on making epic food in the woods. I’m also the founder of Food Blogger Entrepreneurs, the leading online academy and private community for food bloggers. → More About Dani

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62 thoughts on “James Beard’s 40 Garlic Clove Chicken”

  1. I love these oils. Not much you can't make with it. In fact, I just used some to make roasted brussels sprouts last night. Delicious!

  2. Just found ” the Adventure bite” website thru California Olive Ranch. So glad I did. Gonna need to add this site to my bookmarks and cookbook to my collection. My Husband and I love to be in the kitchen trying lots of new recipes. Its our “happy place”.

  3. Olive oil makes everything so much better. I use it wherever oil is called for. Sometimes it does add a little flavor not particularly associated with that recipe, but it has always been a welcome flavor.

  4. I have tried their Arbequina, and it is a staple in our home, always, as is the EVOO. I swear I get a little nervous if we are starting to run out. I have changed my garlic bread recipe from using butter to olive oil. I WANT that James Beard book , I have a friend from San Diego who talks about it constantly.

  5. All this talk about FOOD makes me hungry!! I’ve also been looking for a Very Good Olive Oil. This could be the ONE! Can’t think of many things I cook that don’t use Olive oil. It pretty much goes into or with most good foods. Thanks so much for the input.

  6. I would be interested to see what different types of past recipes there are, I always end up doing spaghetti for our pasta for the week. and I am always looking for more beef recipes!

  7. Oooooo I must have this Cookbook AND this Olive oil!!!I love to dip our french bread in roasted crushed garlic, herbs and olive oil. Have been looking for a top quality olive oil for this. The Chicken with 40 cloves of Garlic recipe will definitely be at one of our family festivities nights, sounds delicious.
    Great review!

  8. What would I do with the olive oil? I’d make a simple pasta dish to show it off, a little fresh pasta, a little oil, some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and some minced parsley!


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