40 garlic cloves

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My favorite things about summer are glowing fireflies and Savoie Organic Farm garlic. Lucky for me, firefly light shows are in full effect every night AND Inchelium Red softneck garlic is now at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market. So, it’s time to celebrate summer with forties – forty cloves of garlic to be exact.

Seven medium-sized Inchelium Red garlic bulbs landed me around forty cloves to make the James Beard classic Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. James Beard, iconic American cook and food writer, developed this recipe to turn polite Americans on to ‘pungent’ garlic since the cloves become mild and buttery after braising.

A quick online search will provide many recipe variations – some with peeled garlic and others unpeeled. I omitted the nutmeg, replaced tarragon with thyme, and used champagne in place of vermouth. Halfway through the recommended cooking time, I removed the lid to somewhat reduce and thicken the braising liquid, and also crisp up the exposed chicken skin. Keep a close watch on the dish so that the braising liquid does not reduce down and burn. Next time, I will lightly coat an additional 10 or so unpeeled garlic cloves in olive oil and place them on top of the chicken for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking to roast. Give this straightforward one-pot recipe a try!

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