Richard Olney was an American painter who moved to France in the 1950s and fell in love with Provençal cuisine and turned into a food writer.
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One of his cookbooks was called Simple French Food (1974) in which he encouraged people to improvise to their own tastes and rely on good ingredients. This book contained a recipe for chicken, oil, salt, a bouquet garni (a bunch of herbs and other aromatics bound in cheesecloth), and a whopping four whole heads of garlic, all braised together. The dish was Olney’s interpretation of the classic poule au pot (chicken in a pot), a centuries-old pillar of French cuisine.
Even a little before this book was released back in America, French cooking was making its way onto American tables. In 1954, James Beard published a similar Provençal-inspired recipe that made garlic the headliner by specifying exactly 40 cloves for the preparation.
Cook's Country's Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin gives a more detailed story in the video below.