Our Favorite Dinner

On Sunday nights we have a tradition or ritual, if you want to call it that.  I, basically, cook all afternoon.  I don't know how this tradition started, but we all enjoy it.  I enjoy it because I really like to cook and my family enjoys it because they really like to eat what I cook, well sometimes anyway.  Tonight I made our favorite meal.  I wanted to share it with you.  Be warned, though.  This meal is not for the faint of heart, the person who is afraid of strong aromas, or the person who is planning on doing a lot of one-on-one time smooching later that evening.  There can be no fear of  garlic---I used four bulbs.

For the entree, Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic.  I didn't actually count the garlic, but used 3 bulbs of garlic for the chicken and I roasted one head of garlic for a side of Garlic Roasted Smashed Red Potatoes.

The recipe for Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic is from "Barefoot in Paris".  I absolutely love this cookbook and think I have made each dish from it at least twice.  Every recipe is perfect.  

Chicken with Forty Clove of Garlic

Serves 6

3 whole heads of garlic, about 40 cloves
2(3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 T. unsalted butter
2 T. good olive oil
3 T. cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 T. fresh thyme leaves
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. heavy cream

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds.  Drain the garlic and peel.  Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels.  Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.  Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork.  If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium.  When a batch is done, transfer to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches.  Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot.  Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned.  Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle withe the thyme leaves.  Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.  In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot.  Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland.  Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

This recipe is so great.  The only thing that I do differently is that instead of just adding thyme to the sauce and chicken I use herbs de provence.  I love the way the fennel, basil and thyme taste with the sauce.    Try this recipe with a good glass of Pinot Noir.


  1. Sabrina--this looks absolutely yummy! Do you think it would work with boneless chicken breasts? And will you post the recipe for the mashed potatoes?

  2. I definitely think it would work with boneless chicken breasts. I would leave the skin on to maintain juiciness. Try it also with boneless thighs or wings.


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