**Germans, trigger warning for lots of garlic!**
This is a riff on Phil’s chicken with 40 cloves of garlic that he cooked, shot and styled last year; it was one of our first shoots together. Yes, that’s right, 40 cloves of garlic! I can hear the collective gasp of Ze Tschermanns as they read first “garlic gravy” and then the “40 cloves of garlic” bit.
Whilst I cooked this on a Sunday, I can imagine doing this as a weeknight dinner. I’d prep everything and throw in oven, baking at a slightly lower temperature than the recipe below (which is based on what I did today) and keeping the lid on throughout. Then maybe I’d go for a run, return in an hour to finish the chicken under the broiler to crisp the skin, shower and be ready for dinner all nice and clean!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
What you need for 4 people
- 4 ribs of celery, finely diced, approximately 1 cup
- ½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 large onions, finely diced, approximately 1 cup
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- olive oil
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- salt and pepper to taste
- 40 cloves garlic, unpeeled, just clean
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1/2 cup full cream, at room-temperature
- crusty homemade bread
Everything in your cast iron
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
In a small bowl, mix the celery, onion, parsley, thyme and nutmeg. In your cast-iron skillet, place the chicken pieces in the middle, drizzle olive oil down the sides, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Add the celery and onion mix to the chicken and garlic, covering the garlic with the vegetables. Add 1 cup of white wine. Cover with aluminium foil, or in my case, I used the lid of my Le Creuset pot. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes at 180C/350F.
You should taste the “gravy” and decide whether it needs more seasoning, depending on the wine you use and the natural sweetness of the caramelised onions.
After 15 minutes, remove the lid, add the remaining wine and give it a stir so the liquid also gets underneath the chicken. Bake uncovered at 150C/300F for another 15 minutes.
Then, uncover the chicken and add the cream. Turn off the oven and turn on the grill at 120C/250F. The cream will be warmed up along with the rest of the broth and the chicken skin will crisp up.
The weeknight hack
I’d preheat the oven to 150C/300F, add all the wine in one go and cook the chicken with the lid on for roughly 45 minutes at that temperature. That way you can go run/train for close to an hour or so. Then just finish the chicken once you’re back and cleaned up and ready to eat!
Serve with crusty homemade bread
And a side salad, like this one or that one, or both! Toast the bread quickly just to crisp it up. At the table, just squeeze the garlic guts out of the skins, and spread over the bread with a knife/spreader, just like butter.