Published May 1, 2003.
A hybrid pan-roasting/braising technique updates this classic French dish, making it better . . . and quicker.
Since its introduction, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic has failed to make it onto many dinner tables . . . and not without reason. In most versions, the garlic is soft and spreadable, but its flavor is spiritless. The chicken is tender, but the breast meat takes on a dry, chalky quality, and the flavor of the chicken in general is vapid, as if it had been washed out into the liquid. The chicken skin is soggy, flabby, and wholly unappealing, even if the chicken has first been browned.
Chicken that is browned, full-flavored, and crisp-skinned; garlic that is browned, sweet, and nutty. All that, plus a savory sauce to unite the elements.
Use a cut-up chicken rather than a whole bird because it cooks faster and more evenly. Roast the garlic cloves first, then add to the braising liquid with the chicken. Cook it all with a two-part pan-roasting/braising technique, then crisp the chicken skin under the broiler. Add some shallots and herbs to flavor the sauce, use some of the garlic to make a paste to swirl into the sauce, and finish with a couple of tablespoons of butter.list of recipes