I love garlic. I remember once I went to the garlic festival in Gilroy, California and they had garlic everything...garlic butter, garlic mascots, garlic souvenirs, and even garlic ice cream (!). Ina Garten's recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic had chicken (good!), wine (good!!) and lots of garlic (GOOD!!!) so I decided to use it as my inspiration for tonight's meal. I was making half the recipe so I baptized my dish:
Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic
- 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat and skin
- 2 whole heads of garlic (about 20 cloves), separated into cloves
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 7-8 springs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. cream (I used 18%)
1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Don't be stingy.
2. In a heavy pot brown chicken on both sides, making sure you get good caramelization. You might need to do this in batches.
3. Meanwhile, boil a bit of water in a small pot and blanch the unpeeled garlic cloves for a minute. Drain then peel the garlic cloves.
4. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
5. In the same pot, lightly brown the garlic cloves. Set aside. At this point, I remove the excess oil and fat by sopping it up with a paper towel, but you don't have to. It's probably more flavorful to keep it in the dish, but the tiny health-conscious part of my brain nags at me and guilt prevails.
6. Deglaze the pot with wine, scraping the brown bits on the bottom.
7. Put chicken and garlic back in the wine, along with the the thyme sprigs.
8. Simmer for 30 minutes.
9. Remove chicken and garlic from pot and mix in the flour into the sauce making a roux.
10. Once flour is thoroughly incorporated and sauce has thickened, turn off heat and add cream.
11. Pour sauce over chicken and garlic.
In the end, the garlic becomes soft and sweet and buttery. It's perfect slathered on pieces of rustic, crusty bread which you can then use to mop up the wonderful sauce.