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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

40_cloves_of_garlic_chicken After my first visit to the Takoma Park Farmer's Market, I wanted to go back for a whole young chicken from Smith Meadows Farm.  I have been on a quest to make a perfect roast chicken for a while now with little success.  A fellow foodie friend suggested using a whole young chicken as opposed to a standard roasting chicken from the supermarket.  I was told a young chicken is more tender and lends itself better to a  juicy roast as opposed to the leathery, dry meat I often produce.  I begun searching online for an exceptional roast chicken recipe before remembering this Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe.  I altered it very slightly so that everything I used for the recipe came from my CSA box or my visit to Takoma Park. 

This is the perfect dish for a cold Winter's day.  It's a beautiful chicken seasoned with fresh herbs and enough garlic to kill a village of vampires!  And it's all done in the crock pot, resulting in the most delicious aromas wafting through your house.  Add some roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes and you have the bounties of Winter right there on your dinner plate.  Dishes like this are exactly why I choose local, fresh and in season ingredients.  When you use such quality ingredients, you don't need to do a lot to make them great. 

Chicken with 40 Cloves of GarlicYoung_chicken_and_garlic_cloves
1 4-lb young whole chicken
1 fresh sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
1 fresh sprig of rosemary, whole
1 fresh sprig of thyme, finely chopped
1 fresh sprig of thyme, whole
2 fresh stalks of micro Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 fresh stalks of micro Italian parsely, whole
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
Fresh ground pepper

Pat dry the chicken and set it on a plate.  If not already done, remove the innards from the cavity of the whole chicken. Place the whole rosemary, thyme and parsley inside the cavity of the chicken, along with the five peeled cloves of garlic.  Place the chicken in the crock pot but do not turn it on yet.  Wash your hands and then grind the pepper over the chicken (the amount of pepper depends on your personal taste level - I added almost a 1/2 teaspoon).  Then evenly sprinkle the finely chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley over the chicken.  Add in the 40 cloves of garlic around the chicken, cover the crock pot  and turn it on low.  Cook for 8 to 10 hours. 

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, carve and serve with a pound of roasted fingerling potatoes tossed with fresh chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of good olive oil.  The roasted garlic cloves can be used in other dishes calling for roasted garlic. 



Yum. I've never made this, but will try it now!


8-10 hours?

Wonder if hydration becomes and issue?

Stephanie Willis

Hydration doesn't become an issue, just make sure your crock pot is set on low (or the lowest setting on your crock pot).


That looks great! I've found that brining is the best way to make a juicy roast bird - check out my posts on roast duck and roast chicken:

http://www.ihatewheat.com/2008/12/roast-duck-with-celery-roots-beets-and.html and http://www.ihatewheat.com/2008/09/roasted-chicken-roasted-veggetables-and.html



This looks great but do try the Zuni Cafe recipe. Delicious . . . .

Andrew Lee

I can imagine the crock pot making the chicken very tender, but how does the skin turn out? The roast chicken I had at Per Se is the juiciest I've ever had, something I don't think is possible by oven roasting. The skin was crispy too. My best guess as to how they do it, is that they boil a brined chicken (probably in some rich chicken stock), and then do a quick roast in a hot oven to crisp the skin. I tried that on a turkey last Thanksgiving, and it turned out to be the best turkey I've ever had.


i have a roaster that doubles as a crock pot, so i tried this recipe in it. unfortunately, i estimated "low" to be around 220 (the roaster has the actual temp instead of low/med/hi) - and it was far too hot.

so, i've got to ask: what temperature is the "low" setting on a crock pot? i'd like to try this again, and not wind up with a leathery bird and black garlic.

Stephanie Willis

@ Andrew - the skin comes out moist but not too crispy. You could do a quick roast to crisp up the chicken skin if you'd like.

@ Jenny - I'm not 100% sure what low equates to temperature wise. But I'd suggest putting it on the lowest temperature setting. If 220 is the lowest setting, cut the cooking time in half.


stephanie - the roaster goes from 150 to 425ish - "low" is probably closer to 150 than 220, i'm willing to bet.

Lapin Agile

This is a great bistro dish anyway you look at it. Will me making it this weekend even though the weather will be nice. It's a chef's lot.

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