The recipe I learned when I first started cooking this dish years ago was one of those that, at the end, you had a sink full of dishes. Over the years I’ve simplified it down to its essence without losing any of its charm.
Chicken with Forty Cloves
3 heads of Garlic
8 Chicken Thighs (bone-in skin on)
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Cognac
1 1/2 cup White Wine
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Beurre manié: 2 tablespoons soft butter + 2 tablespoons flour, mix into a paste.
3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
You have a few options on how to peel all those cloves. You can use this method but, I’ve found that it works only half the time for me. I think It depends on how fresh your garlic is.
If that method fails try the old-fashioned way: Take your cloves and place them into boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and allow to cool until you can handle them with out burning your fingers. The skins should be much easier to deal with now. Cut the very tip of the garlic clove off and peel the skin off.
Or, if you can find the pre-peeled garlic at the grocery; go for it!
Once you have your garlic peeled you can store tightly sealed in the fridge. Also, to get rid of your stinky garlic smelling fingers rub them along the sides of a piece of stainless steel (I use my sink).
Whew! Okay on with the recipe!
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a high sided pot or Dutch oven with a lid over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
Place the chicken skin side down and sauté until golden brown. You might need to cook the chicken in batches if they all don’t fit.
Remove the chicken and set it aside. The chicken will not be cooked through at this point, it will finish cooking later.
Add the garlic cloves to the fat in the pot and sauté until nicely toasted.
Add the Cognac and scrape the bottom of the pan to help free those lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add the white wine. Cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced slightly.
Prepare the beurre manié and whisk it into the garlic and wine in the pot to thicken the sauce. Whisk in the heavy cream.
Add back in the chicken thighs. Bring the pot back to a simmer and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165 degrees.
Serve with a nice crusty baguette.