At first brush, this dish sounds like a recipe for some type of human-repellant, but I think, it's time to bring this classic French casserole back in vogue. Garlic, on its own, is anti-socially sharp and pungent, but once caramelised, mellows out into a rounded, buttery sweetness that's incredibly tantalising.
I love making this for dinner parties, it's a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, and appears a lot more sophisticated than it really is. Best of all, it can be whipped up in a cinch and requires minimal ingredients.
Ingredients (feeds 2-4):
4 chicken thighs (budget 1-2 thigh(s) per pax)
40 cloves garlic (approx 4 heads), peeled and left whole
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay or else, vermouth is a viable substitute)
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp herbs (I used a mix of dried rosemary and thyme; you can also use tarragon or fresh ones)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat. Brown chicken that's been seasoned with salt and pepper for about 16 minutes, turning over once at the 8-minute mark.
2) Transfer to a baking dish once seared to a golden. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 176 degrees Celsius (350 F).
3) Sizzle the garlic in the olive-oil-chicken-fat renderings until caramelised, about 5 minutes.
4) Add wine until almost completely reduced. Skip this step if you can't have wine, and add in a tbsp apple cider vinegar after step 6.
5) Add stock and heat through until bubbling. Add herbs to soften.
6) Transfer about 1/4 of garlic over to baking dish with chicken, and mash the remaining garlic into the stock until smooth.
7) Pour stock over chicken in baking dish, and pop into oven for about an hour for chicken to cook through,with a foil cover for the first 50 minutes and uncovered for the last 10.
8) Serve garnished with added fresh herbs.