40 Clove Chicken Meal in a Tin

There are a lot of 40 Clove Chicken recipes out there, and lots of variations on it, including slow cooker varieties. For this recipe, I wanted to essentially have a meal in a container, suitable for a night when there is just one of us and a kid. This recipe has pan fried chicken nestled into a bed of parboiled potatoes and some uncooked yellow beans. The 40 Clove Garlic recipe I adapted and poured into the container, and when the time comes, this one will steam up nicely in the oven, cooking the beans without overcooking them, and finishing the cooking of the potatoes.

A windfall of local garlic is what prompted this and I will say that 40 cloves of garlic takes forever to peel so take your time on the prep up to the point of needing the garlic cloves. Everywhere I look indicates this is a “classic French dish” but to me this was a great use of something that grew in my garden nicely, and I literally googled and read three recipes before coming up with my own variant. I used chicken breasts but do recommend that you use something with more flavour, like a thigh. I also recommend you use a cast iron skillet to brown the chicken – it just seems to cook more nicely.


  • a glug of oil and a few tablespoons of butter
  • fresh herbs: I used a few sprigs of fresh parsley and a sprig of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped
  • Chopped white onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 T flour
  • some chicken stock (about 1 cup is what I used)
  • Potatoes
  • Yellow beans


  1. Peel a million cloves of garlic and mutter to yourself that you are sure there is a better way to do this. Put aside for now.
  2. Peel potatoes and put them on to boil. You don’t want them completely done, but mostly done.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, heat the butter and oil till very hot, and add the fresh herbs. Sitr, cooking for a few moments to release their fragrances.
  4. Add the chopped white onion and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place them in the hot skillet. Fry on one side for about 6 minutes, and turn over, and then fry for an additional 4 or 5 minutes. You goal is to brown them, not necessarily cook all the way through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, wash and chop the beans into the size you wish. Drain the potatoes and arrange in a circle in your container. Sprinkle the uncooked beans on the potatoes. When the chicken is done, nestle it into the potato circle, leaving behind the herbs and yummy bits. Turn the heat down on the skillet.
  7. In the cast iron skillet, add the garlic, and sauté it until is starts to become transparent. You aren’t cooking it the whole way, but you do want it to become golden on the sides.
  8. Sprinkle in the flour, and mix it up. When it’s absorbed, add in the stock and whisk it up so that the flour is dissolved completely. Let the liquid bubble up and turn the heat down, and let thicken, probably about 5-10 minutes.
  9. Pour over the chicken, potatoes, and beans in the container.

Freeze! When you are ready to use it, you’ll want to cook it from frozen for about an hour at 375º with the lid on so that the moisture stays in.