Lately, my weeknight meals have come from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s (lucky for me that I live a short walking distance from one). I want to blame the late summer heat wave or the being the thick of busy season at work, getting home at 9pm some nights. It makes me appreciate those nights when I have the energy and time to cook up something from scratch (and from the heart <3).
A close friend of mine recommended that I try this recipe and I’ve made this dish twice for my family. Wasn’t sure how my Korean food, garlic-loving parents would like it but I think all the garlic and tender chicken (hello dark meat) won them over.
Let me just preface it by saying the garlic flavor isn’t gonna make your nostrils flare or give you garlic breath for days (thank God!). Since it gets slowly cooked down, it’s sweeter and milder despite high number. Trust me on this, it’s French comfort food (and not too heavy).
chicken with forty cloves of garlic (adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s recipe)
3 heads of garlic (yields about 40 cloves)
3 lbs of chicken (combo of thighs, wings, drumsticks w/skin on)
salt and pepper
1 TB unsalted butter
2 TB olive oil
3 TB cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups of white wine (I used chardonnay, any white wine that’s dry)
3 tsp fresh thyme, divided (will use 2 tsp for garnish)
2 TB all purpose flour
2 TB heavy cream
Note: there are recipes that don’t call for cognac like this one to have one less item on your grocery list. Don’t know if the dish will drastically taste different but just less French sans cognac. I bought mine at CVS but you can find miniature bottles at liquor stores or retailers like BevMo since you only need a few tablespoons. Also, buy already peeled garlic cloves to save you time.
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a big pot (w/thick bottom) or Dutch oven over medium high.
2. Saute chicken skin side down for 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Lower heat to low-medium and add garlic cloves until evenly browned. Careful not to splatter the oil.
4. Add 2 TB cognac and 1 1/2 cups of wine and return to a boil (alcohol will burn off).
5. Place chicken back into the pot with 1 tsp of thyme. Cover and simmer (very very low heat) for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Check the chicken after about 25 minutes to see if it’s close to being done. Want to avoid dry chicken.
6. Transfer chicken to a large plate and keep warm by covering with foil.
7. In a small bowl, whisk half the sauce and flour. Add to the pot. Raise heat to medium and add 1 TB cognac and 2 TB heavy cream to make your sauce. Let it boil for about 3 minutes. First give it a taste it and then add salt and pepper accordingly.
8. Serve chicken and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
mise en place (can’t forget the Korean newspaper)
after browning the chicken
Ta-da! First time, the gravy was a bit thick and on the salty side. My second attempt, gravy was a thinner consistency but a bit bland. Maybe third time’s a charm? I’ll let you know.
My friend who recommended that I try making this recipe sent me a picture of her restaurant quality dish. Bella! Great tip for garnishing the dish with fresh thyme.