Nom Nom Paleo

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

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Tonight, I start my week of graveyard shifts again. Harrumph. On days when I switch back to being nocturnal, I sleep my regular 8 hours the night before, get up and run errands during the day, and then take a 2-3 hour nap in the late afternoon before getting up to make dinner. 

Since I had a big-ass bag of pre-peeled garlic cloves in the fridge, I decided to make Ina Garten’s recipe for chicken with forty cloves of garlic for dinner (well, technically, it’s breakfast for me).  The only modifications I made: Using pre-peeled garlic (why wouldn’t you?) and leaving out the flour that Garten uses as a sauce-thickening agent. I don’t think Cognac is Paleo but I used it anyway.


  • 40 cloves of pre-peeled garlic
  • 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths (I used 6 thighs and 6 drumsticks)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (it’s easier than plucking and chopping the leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, sauté the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium.

When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to sauté all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Plop the chicken on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Here’s what I assembled (yes, that’s a bottle of Two Buck Chuck):

The chicken browning in the Dutch oven:

All the legs and thighs piled up post-browning:

Browning the cloves of garlic in the rendered fat:

Simmering the cloves in wine and Cognac:

Simmering the sauce after the chicken has been removed:


Next up: Some easy side dishes.

Baked sweet potatoes from my toaster oven:

and nuked organic green beans:

My dinner/breakfast plate:

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