Garlic-Braised Chicken Recipe

  • 1 chicken, about 3½ lb (1.75 kg), cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
  • 40 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1½ cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) dry white vermouth
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) calvados or apple brandy
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup (1⁄2 oz/15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, torn

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and toss with the herbes de Provence. Season lightly with salt and pepper, toss again, and set aside.

In a 5½- to 7-qt (5.5- to 7-l) dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, cook the seasoned chicken pieces until dark golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic to the pot, and saute, stirring continuously, until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pot and add the broth, vermouth, and Calvados. Top with the thyme sprigs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving dish and tent loosely with foil. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring the sauce to a boil, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve right away.

Simple to prepare, this chicken is layered with deep flavor. Although the quantity of garlic sounds like a lot, the cloves become sweet and nutty when braised in an aromatic broth that is later thickened into a sauce. Serve with crusty bread.