by James Beard
featured in Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard
by Evan Jones
(Alfred A. Knopf, 1990)
“[This is] a Provençal recipe that I taught for years in my classes,” James Beard said, “and one that never failed to astonish the students because the garlic cloves become so mild and buttery when they’re cooked through!”—James Beard
2/3 cup olive oil
8 chicken drumstick and thighs (or 16 of either)
4 ribs celery, cut in long strips
2 medium onions, chopped
6 sprigs parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
40 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1. Put the oil in a shallow dish, add the chicken pieces, and turn them to coat all sides evenly with the oil.
2. Cover the bottom of a heavy 6-quart casserole with a mixture of the celery and onions, add the parsley and tarragon, and lay the chicken pieces on top. Pour the vermouth over them, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a dash or two of nutmeg, and tuck the garlic cloves around and between the chicken pieces. Cover the top of the casserole tight with aluminum foil and then the lid (this creates an air-tight seal so the steam won’t escape). Bake in a 375°oven for 1 1/2 hours, without removing the cover.
3. Serve the chicken, pan juices, and whole garlic cloves with thin slices of heated French bread or toast. The garlic should be squeezed from the root end of its papery husk onto the bread or toast, spread like butter, and eaten with the chicken.
Recipe © 1990 The James Beard Foundation. All rights reserved.