Although I haven’t made this in ages (finally made it again last week), it’s one of my all time favourite chicken dishes, probably because I adore garlic and I picked it up years ago from a French friend. This dish is light, flavoursome (if you like garlic) and is a classic French dish, but versions can be found in Span & Italy. I always, always use chicken thighs on the bone as it adds a huge depth of flavour. And hey, this dish doesn’t have any chillies!
It’s probably safer (for you and others) to have this dish on a Saturday night as the garlic content may offend your fellow workday commuters!
600 ml chicken stock
10-20 large juicy garlic cloves (you can use half smoked garlic & half regular if you wish for a slightly smoky flavour)
25 g butter
8-10 chicken thighs (skin on, on the bone)
1 large juicy lemon, peeled, pith removed and sliced thinly (by all means add one more if you like tangy flavours)
1 good handful of fresh thyme
2 tbsp plain flour
150 ml dry white wine (a tad more if you wish, but not too much – replace with chicken stock if preferred)
Salt & ground black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley or basil to garnish.
Preheat oven to gas mark 5 / 190c / 375f
Put the stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the Garlic cloves, cover and simmer gently for 40 mins. Heat the butter and oil in a sauté or frying pan, add the chicken thighs and cook gently on all sides until golden. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish. Strain the stock and reserve it. Distribute the garlic and lemon slices in between the chicken pieces.
Add the flour to the fat in the pan in which the chicken was browned, and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add the wine, stirring constantly and scrapping the bottom of the pan then add the reserved stock and the fresh thyme. Cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened and is smooth. Season with salt and pepper
Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover and cook in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. If you desire a thicker sauce, lift out the chicken piece and reduce the sauce by boiling rapidly until it reaches the desired consistency. Scatter over the chopped parsley or basil and serve with boiled new potatoes, couscous or rice.
Personally, a nice warm baguette works for me with a lovely bottle of dry white wine.