Braise of the Week: Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic

If the slow-to-come spring has got you down, why not make the best of it? Get out that braiser for another go-around. Here’s another one of my favorite recipes from the recently published e-Book, The Braiser Cookbook.

And remember–you don’t have to have a Kindle to read my Braiser Cookbook. You can download a Kindle reading app for just about any device. Download one here: Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

Now, back to the post:

Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic. Photo by Richard Swearinger

Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic

This is my take on a classic recipe, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. But why 20 instead of 40? Don’t worry, we’re not stinting on the garlic. The original recipe calls for two chickens. We use one so that the recipe will fit nicely into a 3-1/2-quart braiser so you only need half the garlic.

And don’t shy away from all that garlic! As the garlic braises, it becomes mellow, sweet, aromatic—and soft. In fact, the soft pulp not only intensifies the flavor of the finished sauce, it helps thicken it, too. Even if you’re skeptical, please give it a go—everyone should enjoy this recipe at least once in their lives.

1 3-1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut up (or use 2-1/2 to 3-pounds chicken pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (about 20 cloves)
2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh snipped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a 3-1/2-quart braiser over medium-high heat; add the chicken and cook, turning often, about 10 to 15 minutes or until brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until they’re starting to color (but not brown), about 2 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence, white wine and chicken broth to the pan; bring to a boiling, scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan.

3. Return chicken to braiser, skin side up. Cover the braiser, slide it into the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juices. Bake, uncovered until the chicken is tender and no longer pink (170°F for breasts, 180°F for thighs and drumsticks), 20 to 30 minutes more.

4. Remove chicken to a serving platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Set the braiser over medium-high heat. If it looks like there’s less than 1/2 cup pan juices in the pan, add enough additional wine to equal about 1/2 cup. Bring the pan juices to a boil while using a fork to mash the garlic cloves, whisking the pulp into the liquid as you work. Add the lemon juice. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.

5. Divide chicken among four serving plates and top each serving with some of the sauce. Sprinkle the parsley and lemon peel over all.

Other posts you might enjoy:
How to Braise without a Braiser
The Braiser Cookbook Is Now Available
How to Cook Chicken in Your Braiser
Braises for the Fall and Winter: Great for the Le Creuset Braiser
What Is a Braiser? What Is a French Oven? Should You Invest?

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19 comments to Braise of the Week: Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic

  • Claire Hauville

    I cooked this beautiful meal as an Easter treat – fabulous flavour and aroma. It could become a regular in my kitchen.

  • Caroline Smith

    This is our absolute favorite go-to recipe and I think we make it at least twice a month now. Such wonderful flavors that meld together to create a entree that is both comfort food and also the quality that you would want to impress dinner guests. We have both Wini’s original Bonne Femme cookbook and the Braiser cookbook (where we found this jewel) and have so many recipes tagged in the book that it looks like it is well loved. Thanks, Wini!

  • Nicole

    Cooking now. Smells amazing

  • R P

    Love it! I have a staub braiser; any tips on how not to create a huge mess (splatter) and stop the chicken skin from sticking so bad?

    • Wini

      If your oil is spattering and your chicken is sticking, you may be cooking at too high of a heat. Turn it down a bit. It should actively brown, but not spatter. You might also try using more oil.

      Again, though, I think the culprit here might be too high of heat. Try heating the oil on medium high until it shimmers, but turning it to medium before adding the chicken.

      Good luck!

  • Leon

    What would you recommend serving this with? Potatoes? Rice? Couscous? Orzo? I’m considering making this in a few hours here.

  • Jessica Taylor

    How long if a beginner would you allow to cook this? I’m late in the game but happy I found your page

  • Jessica Taylor

    Thank you 🙂

  • Simon Harrison

    I just bought a 2.25 qt braiser and although i was worried it was too small i see most Recipes use the 3.5 qt size. Would i simply just use less chicken in this recipe ?

    • Wini

      The 3.5 is the perfect size for cooking for 4 to 6. I don’t know much about the 2.25 size. You’ll likely have to brown the chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. And yes, you might have to use less of everything. Wish I could be more helpful, but I didn’t test that size.

      Thanks for your interest! I hope you enjoy your braiser.

      • Simon Harrison

        Thank you! I made this last night in my 2.25 qt braiser and it was delicious! I used only 4 small bone in thighs that fit perfectly and also added in some haricots verts at the second baking step. Definitely adding this to my recipe list. Unfortunately i was out of chicken broth so i had to improvise with a veggie yeast based OXO cube and that worked well.

        • Wini

          So glad you liked it, Simon! And I say if you’re going to use a bouillon cube, OXO is a great brand! As is Maggi! Thanks for writing, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  • Jackie H

    So glad I found this page. We just bought a 5 quart Le Creuset braiser (thought it was the smaller one – whoops!)and can’t exchange as the store is closing, plus we got an amazing deal. This will be my first recipe to cook in my new purchase tomorrow night and I am so excited. Who doesn’t love garlic.

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