Saturday, July 19, 2014

Slow cooked braised garlic chicken

I've done a lot of slow cooked beef recently, so this week, I decided to slow cook chicken instead.

I once again delved into my Essentials of Slow Cooking cookbook and looked for a chicken recipe.

The first recipe I came across was the slow cooked braised garlic chicken dish and the second one was a chicken and sausage gumbo. I don't have a lot of ingredients in the fridge right now as we haven't done much of a shop and we weren't planning a huge shop this weekend, so I went with the recipe that sounded tasty and had the fewest ingredients. This was the braised garlic chicken. :-)

Here's the recipe for it:

  • 8 pieces chicken thigh, deboned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 heads of garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled **
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
** Note: 
Four whole heads of garlic might sound like a lot, but as it cooks, the garlic mellows and thickens, adding depth of flavor to the pan juices that are served over the chicken. There is no need to peel the garlic since it will be softened after cooking and then strained. The pulp of the cooked garlic imparts a wonderful flavor and helps thicken the sauce.


  • Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken and cook, turning until well browned, 7 - 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Add the garlic cloves and saute over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker. Sprinkle with thyme and add the garlic mixture. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, 3 hours on the low heat setting.
  • Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover loosely with aluminium foil to keep warm. Set a fine mesh sieve over the saucepan and strain the pan juices. Press on the garlic cloves to extract as much liquid and pulp as possible. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter and top with the sauce. Serve at once.
So I pretty much followed the instructions (cooking-wise), since it was pretty straight forward. The whole sauteing the garlic with the peel still on was a bit odd but I did it anyway. It did brown up quite nicely.

I did do something a little different with the chicken. The Boy does not like bone in his meat, so I used chicken thighs instead and used 6 chicken thighs halved. This will give us 4 meals, or 2 serves for dinner, so we will eat one serve for dinner tonight and have the rest for leftovers later in the week.

I also coated the chicken in flour as well as salt and pepper, since the flour will thicken the sauce as it cooks.

I think because I used chicken thighs, there wasn't the juices or fat that the recipe talked about, so I compensated with chicken stock for sauce, and added 2 cups of chicken stock, which just covered the chicken in the pot. I decided that 2 cups was a decent amount of sauce and it would thicken up into a nice sauce while it cooks.

I cooked mine in a slow cooker, but since I always slow cook in the oven, my slow cooking method was to put everything into a Dutch oven, then bring it to a boil and put it into the oven to slow cook for 3 hours at 120°C.

While cooking, the skins of the garlic came off for most of the garlic, so I fished them out of the pot as I checked on it intermittently. As such, there was only 1 or 2 garlic that I needed to remove the peel from.

Instead of straining the garlic through a sieve, I just mushed it up in the pot with a wooden spoon.

After slow cooking the chicken for 3 hours, the sauce had cooked down quite a bit, so after I took out the chicken to get to the garlic, I also added back 1.5 cups of stock to the pot to get more liquid in the pot and the dish.

Once I got the stock into the pot, I put the chicken back into the pot and brought it back to a boil and simmered for about 10 minutes just to thicken the sauce back up again.

This turned out to be an extremely tasty dish. Not garlicky at all, surprisingly, considering how much garlic was used. Just a very mellow and rich flavor. We had it over quinoa and a side salad. Uber tasty!!!

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