Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken With 40 Cloves Of Garlic

This recipe is called Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, and, that's not a typo.

But don't think 40 cloves is going to make you dangerous to vampires. The cloves actually come out buttery soft and spreadable, mild in flavor.

In this recipe, based on a classic French dish, the chicken bakes to a golden brown, the garlic is sweet and nutty and there's a savory sauce.

Using chicken pieces rather than a whole bird ensures that the meat cooks evenly and quickly. Roast the garlic cloves first to caramelize them and develop their flavor and then add them to the braising liquid with the chicken.

Finishing the chicken under the broiler makes the skin crispy. Some shallots and herbs add flavor to the sauce, and several roasted garlic cloves, smashed into a paste, thicken and flavor the sauce.

Serve the dish with slices of crusty French bread so you can spread them with the roasted garlic cloves.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Makes 4 servings.

3 large garlic heads, about 40 cloves separated and unpeeled

2 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise

5 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs)

¾ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

¾ cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 F. Toss garlic and shallots with 2 teaspoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in pie plate; cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast until softened and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes, shaking pie plate once after 15 minutes to toss contents (foil can be left on during tossing). Uncover, stir, and continue to roast, uncovered, until garlic is browned and fully tender, about 10 minutes longer, stirring halfway through roasting. Remove pie plate from oven and increase oven temperature to 450 F.

2. Using kitchen twine, tie together thyme sprigs, rosemary sprig and bay leaf; set aside.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken skin side down and cook until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes, reducing heat if pan begins to scorch. Using tongs, flip chicken and lightly brown second side, about 3 minutes; transfer to large plate. Pour off fat from skillet. Off heat, add vermouth or wine, broth and herb bundle to now-empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Place skillet over medium heat, add garlic mixture, then nestle chicken skin side up on top of and between garlic cloves.

4. Transfer skillet to oven and cook chicken until breasts register 160 F and drumsticks/thighs register 175 F, 10 to 12 minutes. If desired, heat broiler element and broil chicken to crisp skin, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Carefully remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken to platter. Using slotted spoon, remove 10 to 12 garlic cloves and set aside. Transfer remaining garlic cloves and shallots to platter with chicken. Discard herb bundle. Place reserved garlic cloves in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Using rubber spatula, push garlic cloves through strainer; discard skins. Add garlic paste to sauce in skillet and bring to simmer, whisking occasionally to incorporate garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, whisk in butter. Serve chicken, passing sauce separately.