Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

June 23, 2006

3 – Whole Heads of Garlic; About 40 Cloves
2 – Chickens (3.5 lbs Each)
Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 – Tbls. Unsalted Butter
2 – Tbls. Good Olive Oil
3 – Tbls. Cognac, Divided
1.5 – Cups Dry White Wine
1 – Tbls. Fresh Thyme
2 – Tbls. All-Purpose Flour
2 – Tbls. Heavy Cream

Cut each chicken into eighths. Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside. Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, sauté the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about three to five minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to sauté all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and sauté for five to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add two tablespoons of Cognac and the wine, return to boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is down. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for three minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Using only chicken legs and thighs can substituted instead of two entire chickens. Wine can be substituted with an equal portion of chicken stock.

Barefoot Contessa on

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