• 1 (3-or-4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 40 large, meaty garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1-3/4 cups dry white wine
  • 4 thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 8 garlic croutons
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces.

  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed flameproof casserole wide enough to accommodate the chicken in a single layer. Add the chicken, and salt and pepper lightly. Saute for 5 minutes, then turn over and saute another 5 minutes. If the bottom of the pan scorches a little, don't worry, it won't affect the flavor of the dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot.

  3. Add the garlic and saute, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until beginning to brown. Again, don't worry about scorching. Spread the cloves in a single layer and return the chicken pieces to the pot. Add the wine, thyme, and rosemary and cover tightly.

  4. Place the casserole in the oven and bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make the garlic croutons.

  5. After 45 minutes, check the chicken. It should be tender and fragrant. If it isn't quite cooked through or very tender, bake another 15 minutes.

  6. Remove the casserole from the oven. Heat the Cognac in a small saucepan and light with a match. Pour over the chicken and shake the casserole until the flames die down. Taste the sauce in the pot, adjust seasonings, and sprinkle with parsley.

  7. To serve, place a couple of croutons on each plate, a piece of chicken or two, topped with some of the sauce in the pan, and several garlic cloves, which your guests should squeeze out onto the croutons.

    Note: This is a lusty, beautiful dish. The chicken becomes succulent and ever so fragrant as it bakes slowly in white wine with 40 unpeeled cloves of garlic. The garlic becomes mild, sweet, and soft as it cooks, and you eat it like butter on croutons. Most authentic French versions of this dish include more olive oil than mine, as well as some butter, but the results here are heavenly. I've tried various methods for this dish. Sometimes the chicken is cooked in an uncovered pan on top of the stove, but because we remove the skin here and use very little fat, the dish comes out best when the chicken is simmered in the oven in a closed pot.


See author’s note after directions.

Content Continues Below ⤵ ↷

Recipe Yield: Serves: 4

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 555
Fat: 18 grams
Sodium: 455 milligrams
Cholesterol: 133 milligrams
Protein: 49 grams
Carbohydrates: 49 grams

Book Title: Mediterranean Light