The only hard part of this dish is having enough patience to peel 40 cloves of garlic (that’s about 3 heads worth). Thankfully, the trick of boiling the cloves for 60 seconds and then draining it makes the task a million times easier than trying to smash each clove and pick out all the paper from the mess. I also think there is a lot more visual impact to the dish when presented with whole cloves of garlic; that way there is no question as to what is in the dish.
If you hate garlic, I might steer away from this dish. But if you only think you don’t like it, I’d suggest giving this recipe a try. A lot of times people do not like garlic because they’ve either had it raw or burnt. I love raw garlic, but it is definitely a pungent taste, one which many people don’t enjoy. And burnt garlic, ick. There is no coming back from that one. But cooking the garlic over low heat for a long period of time is a beautiful thing. Roasted cloves will be brown, but not burnt, and the taste will transform from sharp to sweet as the sugars begin to caramelize. They also get soft – soft enough that you can grab a clove, put it on a piece of toast, and spread it with a knife as you would butter.
There are a lot of strong flavors in this dish, inclusive of the garlic, so I wouldn’t recommend eating this before meeting your blind date for the evening. This would be more of a third-date sort of meal.
Definitely serve this with some crusty bread, the sauce and garlic pieces are just too good to abandon on your plate.
Adapted From Ina Garten via FoodNetwork.com
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 4 ounces chicken, 2 tablespoons sauce, 5 garlic cloves, and 3 bread slices)
Ingredients 1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
½ tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp (1/2 teaspoon) salt
½ Tbsp Thyme
½ Tbsp Sage
½ Tbsp Rosemary
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp Flour
1 ½ Tbsp Cognac/Brandy
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
20 garlic cloves, peeled
(1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth)
¾ cup dry white wine
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Directions Boil garlic cloves for 60 seconds. Drain and Peel.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from chickens. Rinse chickens with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat; remove skin. Cut each chicken into 8 pieces.
Combine butter and oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken. Add half of chicken pieces to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic; sautee garlic for 5-10 minutes until evenly browned. (cook 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently.) (Arrange chicken on top of garlic.) Add wine and 1 Tbsp cognac/brandy, bring to a simmer and scrape bottom of pan (Add broth and wine;) Return chicken to pan, sprinkle with thyme, sage, rosemary and add 1 bay leaf, cover and simmer (cook) 15 (25) minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/4 cup sauce from pan then whisk it back into pan. Add remaining cognac. Cook 3 minutes and salt and pepper to taste. (Increase heat to medium-high; cook 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup.) Serve sauce and garlic with chicken and bread. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.