As this is a scaled down recipe for 2 people, only 10 cloves of garlic is used instead of 40. After the long cooking, the chicken is tender, sauce is surprisingly creamy (no cream used!), and the garlic is soft like butter. Crusty bread is a must to mop up every last bit of the sauce.
600gramschicken leg quarterswith skin and bone, see Note 2
2tbsplight olive oil
1medium yellow onionpeeled and sliced
1medium carrotpeeled (optional) and cut into 5-cm (2-inch) chunks
2stalks celerycut into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces
125mldry white winedivided, see Note 3
1/4tspdried basilsee Note 4
Freshly ground black pepper
10clovesgarlicpeeled and left whole, see Note 5
Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F.
Cut the chicken leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks (see Note 6). Pat dry thoroughly with paper towel and transfer into a tray. Rub the chicken pieces with the 2 tbsp oil and season both sides with sea salt.
Heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it is hot (water sprinkled into the pot should sizzle and evaporate immediately), add in the chicken, skin side down, in a single layer without touching each other and sear until the skin is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. The skin should not stick to the pot if it's browned well enough. Flip and sear on the other side for another 2 minutes. You may have to hold the chicken drumsticks with a pair of tongs so that it browns all over. Once golden on all sides, remove chicken onto a plate and set aside. If you are making a bigger batch of the recipe, sear the chicken in batches, if needed.
Lower the heat to medium-low. Add in a bit more oil if needed, then saute the onion until softened, about 1 minute. Add in carrot and celery to saute briefly. Stir constantly so the vegetables don't burn, lowering the heat if necessary. Add in 60ml (1/4-cup) of the wine and bring to a boil to deglaze the pot. Simmer until half of the liquid has evaporated off. Turn off the heat.
Stir in the dried herbs and freshly ground black pepper into the onion mixture. Transfer the chicken into the pot, skin-side up, and pour in all of the chicken juices. Add in the remaining wine. Sprinkle the garlic evenly in the pot and season with a final light touch of salt. Cover with the lid and wrap the lid with an aluminium foil to make a tight seal (see Note 7).
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes without removing the lid (see Note 8). Serve hot, from the pot, with crusty bread to mop up the gravy and a salad to complete the meal.
I don't have a Dutch oven, so I used a stainless steel pan to sear the meat, saute the vegetables then deglaze (up till Step 4). Then I transferred everything into an oven-safe casserole pot and proceed as per the recipe.
On the chicken:
I've indicated the chicken weight for easy reference. I used 2 chicken leg quarters which weigh about 270g to 300g each (with bone), which is just nice for 2 of us.
The original recipe's serving size is 2 chicken leg quarters per person - so you may want to double the recipe if want and can eat more. Alternatively, bulk up the meal by adding potatoes.
You can also choose to use all chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks or chicken parts.
Dry white wine is any white wine that isn't sweet. The wine can be substituted in part or in whole with chicken stock. Do use less salt if your chicken stock contains salt.
The original recipe calls for tarragon, but as I have none on hand, I used basil.
The original recipe calls for the garlic to be crushed and peeled, but I left them whole so they do not disintegrate as easily when scooping them out. You can also leave the garlic unpeeled (which would save some prep time).
Use your fingers to feel for the joint between the thigh bone and the backbone (drumstick bone). Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut along the joint (in between the two bones) - if you cut at the right spot, you won't require a lot of strength as you are not cutting through a bone.
It wasn't explained in the recipe why there is a need to wrap with aluminium foil. My guess is that it is to keep all the liquid in the pot.
The original recipe baking time is the same at 1h 30min and I did not reduce it for my attempt.