One classic dish I have always wanted to make is Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. I have seen so many recipes for it made so many different ways, so I read through them all and took elements out of each to create a dish that would cater to my tastes. When I told my husband I was making Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, he looked like I said we were having dirt for dinner. He couldn't comprehend eating a dish with 40 cloves of garlic because sometimes he'll say dinner is garlicky when I only use 2 or 3… but I assured him the garlic cloves would braise for a few hours, and they would not be pungent like in a pesto. Also, the 40 cloves are used when you make a whole chicken, so I scaled this back and used 2 bulbs, about 18 cloves.
One element to the dish that varied greatly was the different types of alcohol used. I saw a few dishes with only white wine, and some with vermouth or Cognac and white wine. I looked up the differences and settled on using brandy and white wine, as Cognac is a type of brandy from the Cognac region of France.
I also noticed some recipes called for the garlic in its skin, and some did not, I opted to peel it and get the most flavor. I also used 2 boneless, skinless breasts because I don't cook whole chickens (we only eat white meat) and I don't like cooking chicken bone-in. I served this over some spaghetti and asparagus spears, which were perfect for absorbing some of the delicious sauce.
The garlic ended up breaking apart some, which made it even tastier!
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp. EVOO
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
18 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole
1 small shallot, minced
¼ c. brandy
½ c. white wine
1 c. organic chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. cream or fat free 1/2 and 1/2
½ lb. Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti
1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
Heat a dutch oven over medium high, add in EVOO.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown, then flip.
Add in garlic and shallots, sauté for 2 minutes.
Add in brandy and white wine.
Turn heat to low, reduce alcohol by half, add in stock and thyme.
Season with more salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Right before serving, add in cream and pull out thyme stems.
15 minutes before serving, drop pasta into boiling salted water, cook until 2 minutes to go, drop in asparagus and boil for last 2 minutes of cooking pasta.
Drain pasta and asparagus; pour into a shallow bowl, top with chicken and sauce.