Chicken + Forty Cloves of Garlic + Potatoes by Rattaya Nagorski

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This dish, from William-Sonoma's Chicken Night cookbook by Kate McMillan, jumped off the page immediately to me. I was so ecstatic to make it. Needless to say, it was the 40 cloves of garlic that pulled me into trying this recipe from the book first. Also, the steps to make this French bistro dish seemed fun. While that rang true, the dish, unfortunately, came out bland and it wasn't quite a hit at the dinner table.

There were only two great things about it: it took great pictures, and the roasted garlic was aromatic and delicious. What's not to love about roasted garlic? The chicken thighs looked gorgeous on the pan and the glistening on the skin was a feast to the eyes. But then, I followed the instructions to pour the sauce over the gorgeous thighs, and there went the exciting crispiness. Too bad!

Forty cloves of garlic seemed plenty, but I put a bit more (about 10), just to heighten the taste and look worth the effort. Being in the oven for about 40 minutes, the potatoes did not come out completely cooked, and it was tasteless. I was not holding back on the salt, yet it still did not give out more flavor that it should have with this type of work on the dish. Also, I wasn't so sure what to serve with this, but that was no fault to the recipe; it was just my untrained pairing method. Anyway, I least I tried, but it became another too-bad recipes.


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, around 2 1/2 lb
  • 6 red-skinned potatoes, about 3/4 lb total, scrubbed but not peeled, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 40 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
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  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp of the butter in 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches as needed to avoid crowding, add the chicken to the hot pan, skin side down, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minus per side. Transfer each batch, skin side up, to a 9x13-inch baking dish as it's finished. Set aside. Do not wipe the pan clean and keep it over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic to the saucepan and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, spread the garlic all over the chicken.
  3. Add the wine to the hot saucepan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and return to a simmer. Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter. When the butter has melted, season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Carefully pour the sauce all over the chicken and garlic. 
  4. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the potatoes in the baking dish all around the chicken. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the top.
  5. Roast until the potatoes are fork-tender and the chicken is opaque throughout (no pink should show when you cut in next to a bone, and the chicken juices should run clear), 35-40 minutes. Serve right away.

Yield: 6 servings