I don’t know about you, but I simply adore garlic. Warm bread, soft garlic and flavorful chicken – what a delightful combination! While most recipes call for a whole chicken cut into pieces, my take on this classic French Bistro favorite uses only the thighs. The flavor of thighs will stand up to the forty cloves of garlic nicely, each imparting their own character to the dish. While you can use chicken that has been deboned, remember that the bones and skin will give the final flavor of the dish more depth in flavor.
I’ve been making this recipe for years. I love the way my kitchen fills with the aroma of garlic. Many of the “classical” recipes (if there is such a thing as a “classic” recipe) call for unpeeled garlic. I will admit, the unpeeled garlic is sweeter and milder than the peeled cloves, but it also means that you must peel the garlic table side to spread it on the bread. Far too messy for me.
As always, nothing is carved in stone. Play around with the ingredients. Add more garlic if you like – 100 cloves would not be over the top. Garnish with fresh tarragon for added color and flavor. Use Vermouth instead of the wine (more “traditional” if you will). Let this be a template for creating your own take on this dish, bringing your style to the table.
French Country Forty-Clove Garlic Chicken
6 lbs Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 heads of garlic, peeled (more if desired)
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 cup dry white wine
24 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fresh Tarragon (optional)
Peel 3 whole heads of garlic, about 40 cloves. Set aside until ready to use.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Let rest a few minutes while skillet heats.
Combine butter and oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces to pan; cook 2 minutes per side or until golden.
Remove from pan, keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic; cook 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently.
Arrange chicken on top of garlic. Add stock and wine; cover and cook 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
Increase heat to medium-high, uncover and cook until liquid in pan is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken and place on a large serving platter. Use a slotted spoon to remove garlic from pan. Surround chicken with garlic. Pour pan liquid over chicken and garlic. Garnish with parsley or Tarragon if desired.
Serve with warm baguettes. To eat; spread soft garlic on baguette, top with chicken and enjoy.