This dish is an evolution of the classic Duck with 40 cloves of garlic in which slow roasting converts the piquant garlic into a luxurious sweet sauce. However, instead of roasting, this is an open braise – and can even be a easy weeknight meal. Here, you simply brown the chicken, then oven braised in a flavorful liquid, and build your sauce out of the resulting braising liquid.
In this case, whole garlic cloves soften and sweeten in white wine. Because the cloves have not been chopped, crushed, or shredded, the garlic flavor is mild, almost sweet, and the addition of a bit of cream at the end brings the sauce together into a smooth, rich treat.
I suggest serving this with a simple pomme puree or oven roasted potatoes, but even just a nice heel of crusty bread and a salad make it a great meal.
Wine Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of GarlicCourse: MainCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup light chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large sprigs thyme plus more for garnish
40 cloves peeled garlic
2 tbsp heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Preheat a lidded pan over medium heat.
- Season your chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add butter to the pan.
- When the butter has stopped foaming, add the chicken skin-side down, moving the pan slightly so the chicken pieces do not stick.
- Cook until well browned, turning at least once.
- Remove the chicken thighs, and set aside.
- Add thyme sprigs, and garlic cloves, and briefly sauté, return the chicken pieces, skin-side up, to the pan.
- Add stock and wine.
- Return to a simmer, and transfer to the oven.
- Cook uncovered until chicken is tender and garlic is softened (at least 40 minutes and up to 2 hours).
- Remove the pan from the oven and the chicken from the pan. Strain the liquid, reserving the cloves of garlic.
- Return the strained liquid to the pan, and, over high heat, whisk in the cream to create a smooth sauce.
- To serve, spoon sauce over chicken, accompanied by several cloves of the softened garlic and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
- If you don’t feel like peeling garlic, either by hand or using the bowl trick, pre-peeled garlic is available packaged at most supermarkets.