Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken & 40 Cloves Garlic

This is one of those dishes that is simple, earthy, and rustic, yet produces results that taste complex, heavenly, and sophisticated. If you want to make your friends and family think you've been secretly taking gourmet cooking classes, this is the recipe for you.




* 4 lbs of chicken drumsticks and thighs
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 10 sprigs fresh thyme
* 40 peeled cloves garlic (40 = about 3 or 4 garlic heads)
* About a dozen shallots, peeled and trimmed
* Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide frying pan or skillet and brown on both sides (and all around for drumsticks) over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, shallots, and garlic cloves. Be sure that all of the garlic cloves are sitting in the olive oil before you put the dish in the oven. Any cloves left out will not caramelize properly. Cover and bake for 1 hour. After the hour is up, remove cover and check your garlic. If they aren't yet soft to the point of being mushy, replace cover and allow the dish to cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. After the garlic reaches the mushy stage, remove cover and turn up oven to 425 degrees. Bake for another 10 minutes or so to let the skin crisp up.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

(The recipe makes enough for about 4 to 6 people. I made this dish for 3, hence the absence of more chicken and the other 20 cloves of garlic from the photos.)
*If you have a large oven-safe frying pan, you can brown the chicken, toss in the other stuff, put the lid (or tight-fitting foil) on and put it into the oven. You can also transfer the chicken to a regular metal roasting pan or glass baking dish and cover with foil. Just make certain to scrape all the fried goodness from the bottom of your frying pan into the roasting pan.

**The garlic is good on a hearty bread, like a chewy, crusty Italian bread. Slice bead and toast very lightly. Then you just spread on the soft garlic like butter. A simple tossed salad compliments the meal nicely.**


  1. I think I shall make this for dinner....tonight! YUM YUM YUM! I would love to have a weekend of wine drinking and recipe cooking with you AJ! Too bad we don't live closer, we could definitely do a cooking club together! xoxo

  2. Kim responded: i love this..garlic is delish, especially softened cloves. but might i suggest an Altoid after? nicely done.