The first time I made Chicken with 40 Cloves was over a decade ago. I had just watched Alton Brown’s garlic episode humorously themed with vampires. I worshiped him and ran to the store to surprise my husband with something so delicious he’d never tell me he doesn’t like chicken again. It was really a great recipe, I loved the chicken, but I hated peeling the garlic (such a mess) and going through all the work and the chicken was cooked well, but I’d had better. I didn’t cook the dish again for almost a decade.
I’ve made Chicken with 40 Cloves a few times over the past couple of years. Pre-peeled garlic made it easy and the flavor was good enough that it was worth it every once in a while. The garlic was always mellow and sweet. To be honest, it was the best part of the dish. But it wasn’t enough for me to make it a staple dish in my repertoire. And then, I discovered sous vide garlic confit. Before I had even made it, I knew that the luscious gems were meant to be paired with chicken and cooked low and slow in a sous vide water bath. And man was I right. This is, by far, my favorite recipe I’ve made in my sous vide so far. I’m already planning on making it again tomorrow.
Tips and Tricks For Superior Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Confit
- Gold… Liquid Gold – Make your Garlic Confit with Duck Fat. There is nothing more luscious than duck fat and it will add another nuanced flavor to your dish.
- Pre-sear Your Meat – Browning the chicken ahead of time makes it easier to get a nice color at the end without having to leave the chicken in too long. When meat is cold the first time it hits searing heat, it does less damage to the underlying tissue. To me that just makes sense. Pre-sear, then sear less later.
- Use Dark Meat – Chicken breasts are going to work fine on this recipe but chicken thighs and legs will just taste better.
- Make Extra – I’m serious. I’m going to be making a 2nd batch tomorrow because my kids gobbled everything up tonight. This would be a great chicken to tear into pieces and use on a sandwich or in a salad the next day. Talk about flavor!
- Serve with Mashed Potatoes – Or better yet, Creamed Spinach and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes