I know what you're thinking and no, I did not count the cloves of garlic. This recipe would probably be more accurately called chicken with a whole heckuvalotta garlic. Regardless of what the recipe is called, it's very tasty, easy to prepare, and basically, a one-pot recipe. This is just the type of recipe that I love!
I think chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is one of those old-school recipes. I have a couple of cookbooks that have this dish in them and it seems every big-name chef has a version as well. The technique for making this is somewhere in-between roasting and braising. The chicken is cooked in a moist environment but not quite as much liquid as a braise, yet, is covered.
I love the one-pot nature of this recipe because I can call into duty my trusty Le Creuset Dutch oven. It's probably my favorite cooking vessel. Period. Essentially, you brown the chicken pieces and set aside. Then, lightly sauté the garlic cloves and then deglaze with white wine, add a bit of water if necessary. Then, you add the chicken back, slap the lid on and throw it in the oven for 45 minutes or so. You can serve it with the garlic cloves in their whole form or you can do what I did and mash them up to create a sauce. To make your life easier, you can get your butcher to cut up your chicken into pieces or buy it pre-cut up. You can also buy the pre-peeled garlic. I won't tell. Just don't use the stuff that's in the jar packed in water!
CHICKEN WITH 40 CLOVES OF GARLIC
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces, 40 (or so) peeled cloves of garlic, 1 cup white wine, 2-3 sprigs of thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat enough olive oil to lightly film your the bottom of your pot.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Start to brown your chicken, skin-side down, in batches, if necessary. Take your time to brown the chicken well.
- Set aside.
- Remove the oil after you have browned all of your chicken and add 1 TB of fresh olive oil.
- Add the garlic cloves and saute lightly until the garlic just begins to brown.
- Add 1 cup of white wine to deglaze the pot, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Add the chicken back in 1 even layer.
- You may need to add some water to increase the liquid in pot. You want the liquid to come up about half-way to the chicken pieces.
- Place your sprigs of thyme on top of the chicken, cover with the lid and place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
- You can serve the finished chicken as-is, or remove the chicken and mash up the garlic to form a sauce. Either way, it's delicious!
- Serve with lemon wedges to garnish.