Simple French Country Cooking – Forty-Clove Garlic Chicken

Gotta use up what’s on hand in the kitchen until we land on our feet in our new digs. Peered into the freezer – on the chicken shelf (yeah, I’ve designated shelves for different things – beats the heck out of digging through the freezer to find a pound of ground chuck or whatever) yep, we’ve got chicken thighs. As for the pantry – yep – got the chicken stock and I’m never without olive oil. Seasonings? Who doesn’t have salt and pepper on hand? As for the garlic, now there we are truly in luck.

My sister lives way out in the country. She has chickens and ducks running around in her yard and cats in the barn. On the back deck, there are pots filled with all sorts of herbs. And a beautiful garden. When you go to her house for dinner, you actually go out back to “pick” your salad for the evening. Like most gardeners, she grown more that she can eat. My sister brought over some of the best onions we’ve ever tasted. And a big bag of garlic. We’ve got garlic coming out our ears! (There’s some of her home-grown garlic simmering in a big pot of spaghetti sauce as we speak – what an aroma!)

This is another “blast from my blogging past” – a recipe I first shared back in April 2014. Brother Dear was still with us, living in our house as his health was beginning to fail. He loved the chicken although he thought the idea of 40 cloves of garlic was a bit over the top. That is until he tasted it. The garlic does not overpower the dish but rather enhances the succulent chicken. This is one of those dishes I like to serve “family style” – a big platter in the middle of the table with small plates for the baguette rounds. You just dig in and enjoy! Finger food with form and grace.

French Country Forty-Clove Garlic Chicken
6 lbs Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher 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, then remove from pan.

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.

Note: Baguette rounds can be brushed with a little olive oil, and warmed in the oven if desired.

Serve with warm baguette rounds. To eat; spread soft garlic on baguette, top with chicken and enjoy.

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