I think I “mmm”ed 40 times as I ate this, once for each clove of garlic I ate. The garlic is unbelievably sweet and tender, and don’t tell the chicken, but I was really just using it here as a vessel to eat the garlic. I think next time I will make this “chicken with eighty cloves of garlic,” for that very reason, because I kept stealing my poor husband’s garlic cloves right off his plate. You have now been advised to adjust the recipe accordingly, given that you are as much of a garlic monster as I am. Here’s how to make it:
3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
2 lbs chicken breast, skin on (and on the bone if possible)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Brandy or Cognac (it’s important to get a good one for this)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
10 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
salt and pepper
Separate the heads of garlic into individual cloves and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the garlic and peel (if they don’t peel easily, stick them back in the water for 30 seconds).
Pat the chicken breasts with paper towels to ensure that the skin is extra dry (that way we get a good sear on it). Season all surfaces of the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper. We are not only seasoning the meat, but also using the salt to draw away any extra moisture.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the chicken skin side down first, until browned and crispy, for 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the other.
Remove the chicken to a plate, and add all of the peeled garlic to the pan. Saute for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until evenly browned.
Deglaze the pan by adding the Brandy or Cognac, as well as the chicken stock or wine, and make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken back in the pot with the juices and add the thyme. Cover and simmer over medium low for 20 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and has reached 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Take the chicken out and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm, and reduce the rest of the sauce over high heat to thicken, if desired. Pour the sauce and garlic over the chicken. YUM! Enjoy your chicken!
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic.