Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic and Vermouth

Apr 30, 2014

Credit Helen/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Who knows where this started—throwing enormous amounts of garlic at chicken… a garlic festival in California? The French countryside? On a farm with more garlic than anyone knew what do with? The point is that we have someone to thank for creating one of the simplest, most delicious dishes, featuring garlic that becomes sweet and nutty from time spent in the oven, as well as juicy from bathing in those divine chicken juices.

I like this gluten-free version from The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook because the vermouth acts as a stealth ingredient, a little more interesting than wine might be. Essentially, this is garlic-stuffed chicken sitting on top of vegetables—and still more garlic. Smear the soft cloves on the chicken pieces or on slices of a baguette. (The authors of the cookbook in paperback are Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollack.)

(Serves 8)

Cooking spray
2 medium onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
8 chicken thighs, skinned (about 2¾ pounds)
8 chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1¾ pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry vermouth (you can use sherry or dry white wine in a pinch)
40 garlic cloves, separated but not peeled


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Spray a 9 × 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the onions, celery, tarragon, and parsley in the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Rub the chicken pieces with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Put the chicken on top of the onions and celery. Drizzle with the vermouth and tuck the garlic in and around the chicken.
  4. Cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 1½ hours, or until internal temperature of the chicken is 160° F.

Spicy Bloody Mary Meatloaf

From Faith Middleton: I love a Bloody Mary cocktail, and while I understand some purists insist that we keep it simple, I like to have fun with it, depending on my mood. I have added chopped clams, Clamato juice, fresh horseradish, until it tastes well-balanced. Imagine my delight at discovering a meatloaf recipe calling for a delicious Bloody Mary mix!

We trust you to make your favorite meatloaf recipe, and… you guessed it… add this secret ingredient—Spicy Bloody Mary Mix from The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook. The recipe here makes enough to serve 6 for drinks. Use about a half-cup in the meatloaf, assuming about two pounds of ground meat two eggs. Drink the leftover “Mary” with or without vodka. Killer.


3 cups tomato juice
¼ cup plus
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 6 limes)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste


  1. In a blender, combine tomato juice, lime juice, lemon juice, garlic, Old Bay, and horseradish, and blend until smooth. Season the mixture to taste with Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture in a nonreactive container for at least six hours, and up to three days, before serving.

Recipes from The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook by Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollack.

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  • Chris Prosperi is chef and owner of Metro Bis Restaurant in Simsbury, CT.
  • Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock are coauthors of The Casserole Queens Make-A-Meal Cookbook.