Braised Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Do you love garlic? I LOVE garlic. Just one little clove brings so much flavor to a dish. I’m usually guilty of doubling the garlic in recipes though. I just can’t help it. More garlic at the party is always better. Yeah sure, there’s that whole bad breath thing….but I am willing to stand far away from other people while I enjoy lots of garlicy goodness. This recipe has 40 cloves….40 cloves! Don’t worry, it’s not the kind of garlic you are thinking. This garlic gets cooked in a way that leaves it melt in your mouth tender. You can eat it clove after clove after clove. Yum! Braised Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a garlic lovers dream!
If you have thought even for a second that 40 cloves of garlic is to much for one dish, let me assure you it is not! This isn’t raw garlic that can be overwhelming. This garlic has simmered away in a pan with wine, chicken stock, and chicken thighs leaving them so tender that they fall apart. They literally melt in your mouth. Their strong flavor is taken away and what’s left is a mild garlic flavor that is irresistible. Who knew garlic was capable of such greatness?
Let’s talk about these beautiful chicken thighs for a moment. They are an important part of this dish too! Using bone in/skin on chicken thighs brings so much extra flavor and keeps the chicken moist. Plus, who doesn’t love that crispy skin!? The chicken gets browned in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Once browned, you remove it from the pan and in goes the Marsala. Yay for wine! This deglazes the pan bringing the leftover chicken bits up off the bottom and into what will become the sauce. The chicken thighs go back in the pan along with the garlic cloves and chicken stock. Now into the oven it goes for 45 minutes so the chicken cooks through, the garlic becomes tender, and the flavors in the sauce marry. The only thing left to do is add the spinach and let it wilt. Now it’s ready to serve.
Braised Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic is the perfect one pan dinner for any night of the week. The oven does most of the work and the result is amazing. Make sure you serve this alongside some toasted bread to sop up all of that delicious sauce. You won’t want to leave any part of it behind. Oh and you don’t have to count the garlic cloves. This meal will be as delicious with 38 cloves as it is with 42 :).
- 40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 5 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (you can use whatever amount fits in your pan)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbls. olive oil
- 2 tbls. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 to 3 cups of spinach
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Simmer the garlic in a small saucepan for ten minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel the skin off the cloves.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is crispy, about 8 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- To the skillet add the fresh thyme and the Marsala. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan skin side up. Add in the garlic and enough chicken stock to come half way up the chicken but not over the skin. You want the skin to stay crispy. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate and cover with foil. Put the pan on the stovetop on low heat and add in the spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve the sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with chicken. Serve alongside toasted bread for mopping up the sauce.
Adapted from Rachael Ray