Fat is in. I guess we have Julia Child's renewed fame of this past summer to thank for that. Though I decidedly WILL NOT THANK that hack Julie who attempted to share the silver screen with Our Lady of Brown Butter.
I will thank Kate for peeling all 40 cloves of garlic for this recipe. And for her contribution of real honest-to-god home made chicken stock.
The fact that Mark Bittman blessed the pre-peeled stuff over four years ago, made me assume it would be easy to find in my pantry [aka the Publix next door]. But alas, none of the freshly peeled stuff. And we decided to forgo attempting one of the many professed garlic-peeling tricks: blanching, soaking in cold water, rolling in the jar opener [Chris' favorite].
Three heads of garlic later though, we had our 40 cloves and were ready to try this classic recipe. Hey, if it's in the Joy of Cooking, it's a classic to me.
In fact, I would say we were pretty much BLOWN. AWAY. Oh the Sauce. Delicious rich buttery sauce that forms in the pan. Dip in your chicken, your bread, your fingers. It really went to our heads. Or maybe it was Julia's "a little in the pot, a little in the cook" philosophy.
Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Yield: 6 servings
Chicken: 4 Thighs pieces, 2 big breast pieces [be sure to use at least a few thigh pieces for their higher fat content]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
About 40 large garlic cloves [careful not to smash them to bits]
handful of fresh Thyme [use less if its dried]
1/2 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup homemade chicken stock [original calls for 1/2 c., but we increased due to the homemadiness]
1. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Place a deep skillet or Dutch oven over high heat, and add oil and butter. Or in our case, use one of each to speed things along.
2. When fats are hot, add chicken pieces skin side down and cook until skin turns an even, golden brown, about 5 minutes. Work in batches, if necessary, and carefully regulate heat to avoid scorching skin. Turn pieces and brown them on other side for an additional 5 minutes.
3. Take chicken pieces out of the pot(s) on a plate and cover with foil. Add the garlic cloves to the skillet. Saute, shaking or stirring pan frequently, until garlic is lightly browned on all sides, very approximately 6 minutes.
4. Add wine and stock to deglaze the pan. Layer chicken back in pan on top of the garlic and stock, then sprinkle with thyme.
5. Cover and continue cooking until juices run clear when a thigh is pricked, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Serve chicken with garlic, delicious sauce and bread to soak up both.