slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- 40 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, toss garlic with 1 teaspoon of oil and sugar. Microwave for about 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. It’s normal to see light brown spotting.
- Pat the chicken and chicken skin dry with paper towels. Try to avoid leaving any moisture on the surface or it will not brown correctly. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Heat the last teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch ovensafe skillet just until you start to see whisps of smoke. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, skin-side up and set aside. If you don’t have a 12-inch skillet, use what you have and just cook the chicken in batches if necessary. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the shallots (if using) and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until evenly browned (like a toasted straw color), for about 1 minute.
- Remove the skillet from the heat briefly, and add the sherry to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat and bring the sherry to a simmer and scrape up the delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the sherry coats the garlic and the pan is nearly dry, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the broth, cream, cornstarch mixture, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and bay leaf, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the chicken you set aside earlier back to the skillet — skin side up, with any accumulated chicken juices from the plate. Cook the chicken until for about 18-22 minutes, or until it registers 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Place the chicken on serving dish along with about half of the whole garlic cloves. Discard the thyme and bay leaf, and with a potato masher, mash the remaining garlic into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the sauce with the chicken and enjoy.
If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, feel free to use what you have. A large baking dish, or braising pan will work great. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time in the oven because chances are you’d be starting out with a cold baking dish and you’ll need to allow just a few extra minutes for everything to come up to temperature.
- Serving Size: 8