Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

A Simply Recipes reader, Ms. Annie M, sent us a garlic chicken recipe she found on Epicurious that looked so good we couldn’t wait to try it. (Annie, by the way, knows how mortified I am by typos and thoughtfully points them out to me whenever she finds them on the site.) The recipe is basically chicken pieces and a lot of garlic cloves that have been browned in olive oil and braised in white wine with herbs. The catch is the garlic. We used 40 unpeeled cloves. Lest the sheer volume of garlic scare you off of this recipe, let me reassure you that the browning and braising mellows out the garlic significantly, so it ends up tasting a lot like roasted garlic. Leaving the peels on the garlic is traditional in Mexican cooking, I imagine it may be in Spanish cooking as well? Not sure. But the peels do have flavor, much like the shells of shrimp. You don’t eat them, but when the dish is done, the garlic just slips out of them. Absolutely delicious recipe, thank you Annie!

You can of course peel the garlic if you want.

Ingredients

  • 1 4-pound whole chicken, cut into eight parts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated (40 cloves) but not peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

1 Lightly smash the garlic cloves with the side of a heavy chef's knife, just enough to break the cloves. Leave peel on.

2 Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat. Pat them dry and sprinkle pieces generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven (or a large thick-bottom pan with a tight fitting cover) on medium high. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Lay the chicken pieces on the hot oil, do not move until browned, then turn over to other side using tongs. Remove from pan when browned.

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3 Add a little more olive oil to the pan if necessary. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and the herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Move the chicken pieces from top to bottom every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 180°F for thighs and 170°F for breasts.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken pieces to a platter; spoon garlic sauce over the chicken.

Serve alone (low carb option) or with rice, noodles, baked or mashed potatoes.

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