Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

fanny and brenda make a sumptuous chicken with 40 cloves of garlic a classic french recipe, photo by simon c bennett photographer

In the video Fanny shows us how to make Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. This is one of those dishes that is a delight, and you always need enough for seconds as everyone will want them. It is good for a nice autumnal evening with friends and family, together with some colcannon potato and some greens.

Ingredients

1 large chicken, jointed into wings, thighs, drumsticks and breasts which should be cut in half.
300 ml olive oil
3 heads garlic
6-7 sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme
5 bay leaves
2 lemons
200 ml white wine
200 ml chicken stock or water
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C

During our clip, we fried off the chicken pieces first for about 10 minutes and this is perfectly fine. However strictly speaking I really dont think it’s necessary as it gets deliciously browned during the main part of the cooking in the oven.

Take your three heads of garlic, split in to cloves then peel about a third of the cloves. Add both peeled and unpeeled cloves to the dish in which you have fried off the chicken. We used paella dish which meant the frying and main cooking took place in the same vessel. Any heavy cast iron casserole or cooking pot would be ideal.

Nestle sprigs of fresh thyme amongst the chicken and garlic cloves, along with the bay leaves, two halves of the lemon, the white wine and stock/water. By the way although I used stock, water really is fine as the meat is on the bone so, along with the herbs and wine, makes its own stock as it cooks. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cover with lid or tin foil and put in the oven for 45 mins. After this time, check for ‘doneness’ but either way, an extra 15 mins in the oven, UNcovered ensures you get a lovely golden brown colour and crispy skin. If you need to add any extra liquid to ensure there is a good gravy after the final 15 mins, dont be afraid to do so.

a delicious bacon cabbage colcannon style mash accompanies this classic french recipe very well indeedA delicious bacon cabbage colcannon style mash accompanies this classic french recipe very well indeed

Remove from oven and take the chicken pieces and unpeeled garlic cloves out of the cooking pot and allow to rest somewhere warm for 10-15 mins, covered in tin foil (use the same pieces as you covered the dish with).Pour off excess olive oil from the pot – this can be reserved for all sorts of applications where a garlic and herb infused oil would add something to future dishes you create! Also remove the thyme and bay leaves – discard. Remove the lemon but squeeze any remaining flesh/juice into the gravy. Lastly, mash the peeled garlic cloves into the gravy, so that they become part of the gravy.

You should then have a fairly thick sauce, about the consistency of double cream, made from the remaining olive oil but mostly from the gorgeous chickeny, lemony, herby, garlicky juices. This can then be drizzled round the chicken pieces which we plated with a potato, cavolo nero and bacon mash.

fanny and brenda make a sumptuous chicken with 40 cloves of garlic a classic french recipe photo by simon c bennett photographer

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