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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Paula Nemzek for KCTS 9 Cooks

Adapted this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. Definitely good enough for company, everyone is amazed at the smooth roasted garlic flavor and rich sauce that pairs perfectly with the chicken. For this recipe, you’ll need an oven-safe skillet or wide shallow pan.

serves 4

  • 40 whole garlic cloves, peeled (3 to 4 whole heads garlic)
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 5- to 7-ounce bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed, or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, halved crosswise
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry or marsala
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half 
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss garlic in a large microwave-safe bowl or glass pie plate with 1 teaspoon oil and sugar. Microwave garlic until slightly softened, about 4 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until oil just starts to smoke. Place chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook until skin is well browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate, skin side up. Reduce heat to medium-low, and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add garlic, and cook until garlic is evenly browned, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium and, off the heat to prevent flame-ups, add sherry to skillet. Return pan to heat and bring sherry to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until sherry coats garlic and pan is nearly dry, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, cream, cornstarch mixture, thyme, and bay leaf and simmer at a low steady bubble until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, with any accumulated juices. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until chicken registers 175 degrees internally, 18 to 22 minutes.

Transfer chicken and half of garlic to a serving dish. Discard thyme and bay leaf. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash remaining garlic into sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour half of sauce around chicken. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately. Great over mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables.

Note: If you can find packaged, peeled whole garlic cloves in your produce aisle, use them to save time! The original recipe called for heavy cream; half-and-half makes a perfectly rich sauce. We used a heavyweight, wide shallow saucepan instead of a skillet. The higher sides came in handy as the browning skin spatters hot oil.


There are 3 comments

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it sounds delicious! any way to get nutritional info?

Hello Elizabeth,
Even using half-and-half instead of heavy cream, this recipe is on the calorific side. According to a recipe analyzer, each serving contains 817 calories, 23 grams carbs and 54 grams fat. On the puis side, 51 grams protein. It didn't seem to be able to cope with not eating the skin, but a 4 oz chicken thigh, skin on, has 279 calories; skin off and it's 236. A 4 oz skinless chicken breast has 124 calories, so that would be a better bet if you want to cut down on calories. In future I would brown a couple of chicken wings to get the brown fond for the lovely sauce, remove them, and use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this dish.

This sounds fantastic! I plan to follow the recipe ASAP! I love the cooking shows & have several of the cookbooks.

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