Peeling garlic can be a nasty business. Few hand soaps, if any, are able to remove the potent aromas of garlic from your fingertips or from under your fingernails. And unfortunately, the smell of garlic can keep more than just vampires away.
There are a number of tricks for peeling a single clove of garlic. Smashing the clove with the flat side of a knife works well to remove the husk. A quick and easy solution if you need just one or two cloves for a recipe.
However, what if you need 6, 8, 12, or even 40 cloves of garlic? Smashing each individual clove takes some time. And with each smash of the knife, some juice seeps out of the garlic and likely onto your hand. Making for a bit of a smelly mess.
How to Peel and Entire Bulb of Garlic in 10 Seconds
Peeling an entire bulb of garlic is nearly as easy as peeling a single clove. All you need is a glass Mason jar. You can also use a cleaned out pickle jar, mayo jar, or empty spaghetti sauce jar.
Take the head of garlic and place it on your kitchen counter. Using the palm of your hand smash the bulb–breaking it into individual cloves. It takes a fair amount of force. Kind of like a weak punch.
Sweep the garlic cloves into your empty Mason jar or food jar with your hand and close the lid tightly. Then shake it like crazy. Kind of like you are angrily making a cocktail.
After about ten seconds, the cloves will be perfectly peeled.
If you have a few cloves that didn’t peel, simply return them to the jar for a second shake.
The process is so easy (not to mention, a bit of a stress reliever) that I often find myself with far more peeled garlic than I need. If you end up in the same boat, here is a quick and easy way to use dozens of perfectly peeled garlic cloves.
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and 40 Garlic Cloves
Whole chicken cut into parts
1/2 cup or more of olive oil
40 cloves of garlic, peeled (about two or three bulbs)
4-5 medium potatoes, halved
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, or tarragon Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the chicken parts and pat dry. Season with a healthy amount of salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over high heat in a French oven, Dutch oven, or cast-iron skillet. Add the chicken parts and brown on both sides. Add the potatoes, garlic cloves, the rest of the olive oil, bay leaf, and fresh herbs. Cover and roast in the oven for 75-90 minutes. The olive oil and fat from the chicken will make a delicious sauce dotted with glistening jewels of roasted and nutty-flavored garlic cloves.