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Classic Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic

We’re not kidding about the garlic! While it seems like an over-the-top amount, this recipe made famous years ago by James Beard, is still coveted by foodies. And the good news about our updated version. It’s been streamlined for the slow cooker and still packs a wallop of flavour with half the original amount of garlic.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 4 hours


2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 garlic, whole bulb
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup white wine
8 - 12 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
8 - 12 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
1 tbsp tarragon, dried
½ tsp salt
1 white onion
1 red onion, small

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  1. Turn the slow cooker on high and place butter in the bottom. While it’s melting, make garlic easy to separate and peel by placing the heads on a cutting board and banging their tops with a meat mallet or heavy pan. Separate the cloves and whack them again. Peel off the skins and give another whack to slightly smash them.

  2. Add the Dijon and cornstarch to the soft butter in cooker and mash together. Pour in the wine. Whisk until fairly smooth. Add the smashed garlic cloves and chicken. Sprinkle with tarragon and salt. Turn chicken pieces to coat with tarragon.

  3. Slice onion in half and place cut-side down on a cutting board. Thinly slice and scatter over chicken, separating as you add. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or medium for 6 hours. If you are able, stir chicken half way through the cooking–but this is not essential.

  4. Arrange cooked chicken on mashed potatoes or rice. Mash the garlic into the sauce and spoon onions and sauce over all.

Helpful Tip

Remember this recipe when you spy those big plastic bags of peeled garlic that pop up in the produce section of supermarkets. They’re inexpensive and any not used right away can be frozen.

Nutrition Info

Per 180 g serving Amount
Protein23 g
Fat12 g
Saturated Fat5 g
Carbohydrate11 g
Fibre1 g
Sugar2 g
Cholesterol110 mg
Sodium480 mg
Per 180 g serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A6
Vitamin C20
Vitamin B635
Vitamin B1221