garlic braised chicken
8 ea bone in, skin on chicken thighs
3 Tbs kosher salt
8 ea heads garlic
2 ea bay leaves
½ tsp white pepper
½ c white wine
3 c chicken stock
2 Tbs ginger or ginger/garlic paste (optional)
vegetables: such as zucchini, squash, bok choy, green beans, sugar snaps, mushrooms, etc
starch: such as pasta, rice, israeli couscous, grain of your choice
Preheat oven to 250F.
Peel garlic, and set aside.
Place chicken on plate, skin side up. Season liberally with salt, but do not salt the underside.
Heat a large, oven safe sauté pan over medium high heat. When it's hot, place about three thighs skin side down in the pan, without crowding. Season the bottom of the chicken thighs with salt. Let the fat render and the skin crisp up, about 8-10 min, and when the skin is golden, flip the thighs over. Fry the thighs a few more minutes, until the bottom is just starting to brown. Remove thighs from the pan onto a fresh plate.
Repeat with remaining thighs. If necessary, drain the pan of fat, but reserve this liquid.
While your chicken is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Good choices for this dish are veggies without a lot of water content, or that can be cooked at a high heat to remove water content, like bok choy and mushrooms. For vegetables like zucchini and squash, make sure to scoop out the seeds to minimize added liquid.
When the chicken is done searing, add any removed liquid back to the pan, lower the heat, and add all the peeled garlic. Allow the garlic to sizzle over a low heat, until golden and fragrant. Add bay leaves, white wine, pepper, ginger paste (if using), toss to combine, and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes to bring flavors together.
Place the chicken thighs skin side up on top of the garlic, and add chicken stock until just the skin is showing. Bring to a low boil again, then cover the pan with either a lid or foil, and place in the oven.
Let cook at least 3.5 - 4 hours, but can be kept in the oven as long as 6.
If you have any other vegetables to prepare, you can do it while the chicken cooks. This is also a good time to cook your starch. If you are using pasta, cook to about a minute before the al dente cook time.
When chicken is done, carefully remove the pan from the oven. Take off the cover, being cautious of steam, and gently transfer the chicken thighs to a plate. They will be delicate. Discard the bay leaves.
Transfer everything left in the pan into a pot, keeping the pan for further use. Using a hand blender, blend the garlic into the cooking liquid, until smooth. Keep pan over low heat.
Place the pan over medium high heat, and add a little oil if the pan looks dry. When the pan is hot, add the vegetables, with a little bit of salt, and give them a quick sear. Once vegetables are starting to cook through, about 2-3 minutes, add your starch and let fry for another minute.
Ladle enough sauce over starch and veggies to almost cover them, then bump up the heat. Bring the sauce to a fast boil, to thicken and to finish cooking both the veggies and the starch. After about a minute, take off the heat and plate with the chicken. Spoon more sauce over as desired.