Don’t let all the garlic in this recipe scare you. Braising the chicken and garlic together yields tender, juicy chicken and mellow, soft garlic cloves. Spreadable and quite sweet, the garlic is great squeezed out of its skin onto baguette slices for mopping up the aromatic sauce.
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Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
Trim any excess fat from the cavity of the chicken. Pat the chicken very dry and season inside and out with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half and set the juice aside. Put the juiced lemon half in the chicken’s cavity. Cross the chicken legs and tie them together; tuck the wings under the chicken. Using a small sieve, dust the breasts and legs with the paprika.
Heat the oil in a 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven (large enough to fit the chicken snugly) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, breast side down, and cook until the skin is browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook the back and sides until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off and discard the oil left in the pot.
Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and wine to the pot, stirring to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom. Return the chicken to the pot, setting it breast side up on top of the garlic. Add the herbs to the pot, pour the broth over the chicken, and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook, basting the chicken every 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Uncover and continue to cook the chicken until the thermometer registers 165° to 170°F in the thigh and the juices from the thigh run clear when the thermometer is removed, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and the garlic cloves to a serving platter; cover both loosely with foil to keep warm.
Strain the braising liquid from the pot into a small saucepan; discard the herbs. Tilt the pan so the juices collect in one corner and spoon off and discard as much of the fat as possible. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and some of the reserved lemon juice.
Carve the chicken and transfer the pieces to the serving platter with the garlic. Serve with the sauce and the baguette slices.
Serve with Sautéed Spinach with Shallots.
We make this all the time! However, we actually use selected chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken. I find it easier to work with throughout the recipe and serve at the end. The garlic and gravy on the baguette slices is out of this world.
This made a fantastic meal. I used a good sized Amish chiken, a bit over 4lbs. The chicken came out delicious and tender, and stayed together nicely - I've done some braising where it is hard to get the meat out of the pot as it is falling apart. I used a cast iron dutch oven, and followed the recipe thoroughly. The garlic came easily out of its skin and was mellow and very tasty - everyone loved it, especially on toasted bread. I used a multigrain baguette, sliced cross wise into 1/2" thick slices that I brushed with organic extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black peppercorns then toasted in the oven while making the sauce. And the sauce was the best part - adding the lemon at the end was the perfect touch. I used this the next day as a broth with some left over meat for lunch and it was wonderful. I also took the recipe suggestion and paired this with spinach - a great combination. I would hightly recommend this dish, and the preparation was quite simple.
The garlic is very mellow! I loved this so much I wanted to make it again the next day! I did thicken the sauce a bit with cornstarch & water. Excellent dish!
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