- save the neck, back and wings for stock
- cut the breast halves in half again, just above the halfway mark so they'll cook evenly, and you have 4 pieces of chicken breast instead of only 2
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
20+ cloves garlic, peeled (about 2 heads)
3 TB EVOO
2 TB cognac, divided (a miniature liquor bottle will be enough)
1 c dry white wine (aged in aluminum barrels, not oak)
2 heaping tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 scant TB potato flour
1 TB whole coconut milk
Garlic: you can drop the cloves into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds, drain and peel off the skins, or you can smash them with the flat of your knife and peel them. If you choose the second method remember you'll need to brown the garlic a little longer to make sure it's cooked all the way through.
Remove and discard all visible fat from chicken pieces. Dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt & pepper. Heat the EVOO in a dutch oven just above medium heat. Brown the chicken in batches, cooking 3-5 minutes on each side, and remove to a plate as they're browned.
Lower the heat to medium-low and cook all the garlic, turning frequently so they cook through and brown. Add the wine and 1 TB cognac, scraping up all the browned bits. Add the chicken back in and sprinkle the thyme leaves over the chicken. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for 25-30 minutes til all the chicken is cooked through. (If you have quartered the chicken breasts, it'll be closer to 25 minutes.)
Remove the chicken to a plate or platter with high sides and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Put a couple of ladles of the broth into a small bowl and whisk in the potato flour until smooth. Set aside while you add the last TB of cognac and high simmer for several minutes to cook off all the alcohol taste. Then add in the broth/flour and the coconut milk and stir to blend and thicken the sauce. Taste for salt & pepper (you'll probably need both.) Pour the garlic sauce over the chicken and serve.
Note: if you want to double the recipe, using 2 whole chickens, you can use my source, Ina Garten's:
- don't just double all the amounts
- no butter, flour or cream
- be sure to cook the alcohol taste off the 2nd addition of cognac before adding the potato flour and coconut milk!
- you can still cut the breast halves in half again. This seems to be very popular with my guests, since not everyone wants an entire breast half, and they can have both dark and white meat.