Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

     We love garlic. A lot. If garlic truly possesses all the health benefits attributed to it, the wife and I should be functionally immortal. So when we find a recipe that calls for 40 cloves of garlic, we are duty bound to have it. There's plenty of versions of this recipe; we used the recipe from Barefoot In Paris, by Ina Garten. It is a fairly labor intensive recipe, so it qualifies as a PITA. Peeling 40 cloves of garlic sucks. However, the end result is totally worth the effort. If you want to cook to impress, this is a good way to do it. You're just not going to be kissing anybody for a while. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
via Barefoot In Paris
by Ina Garten

  • 3 whole heads of garlic, about 40 cloves (about? Screw that. The recipe isn't called "Chicken with about 40 Cloves of Garlic. It says 40. I'm using 40)
  • 2 (3.5 pound) chickens, cut into eights (I don't normally keep whole chickens in the house. I used 6 enormous breasts. I like enormous breasts)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I just used regular stick margarine)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil (good call there. The evil olive oil is prone to otherworldly moaning and floating around the room)
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (I used 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Separate cloves of garlic and drop them in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.
  2. 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. Working in batches 
    Sorry. Carry on.
    saute the chicken in fat, skin-side down first, until nicely browned, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or spatula. Do not pierce the skin. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue with the next batch.
  3. Remove the chicken to a plate and add all the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5-10 minutes, turning often (the garlic, not you. You'll just end up dizzy) until evenly browned. 
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and all of the wine, return to a boil and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Return the chicken with the juices to the pot and sprinkle with the thyme. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.Remove the chicken to a platter (plate, whatever) and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  6.  In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pot 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 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce and garlic over the chicken and serve hot.


  1. tryin to con my mom into making this.. I want to eat food that looks like this.. simple.

    1. It is simple to assemble. It's just peeling all that garlic sucks!