I first made this recipe in February 2000. We LOVED it and guess what? I lost the recipe. Well, not really lost it. I put it in a really, really safe place. It was in a storage tub full of my heritage recipes. Heritage recipes are those recipes that have been passed down to me from my mom and grandma. My grandma is, by the way, the best cook in the world.
So, you have to know that the first place my husband and I ate together was at "The Stinking Rose" cafe. To say we love garlic would be an understatement. It was at that restaurant that I was sure I had met my match. We went back, all the way to San Francisco for our 10th anniversary and the first place we ate was "The Stinking Rose." That night, the late-great Jeff Connaway fell in love with our then 3 year old daughter. He flirted shamelessly with her, came over and asked if he could tell us how beautiful she was and colored on her placemat with her. The signed it with "A hickey from Kenickie". He smootched her on the head and kept smiling at us through our dinner.
So, back to the recipe. It sounds like a lot of garlic, but don't cut back. You really should add ALL 40 cloves. By the way, my dearest brother-in-law John, who just passed away, adored garlic. His wife didn't adore the fact that he loved garlic, but didn't fuss as long as he used Beano afterwards. This recipe is for John.
French Farmhouse Garlic Chicken
4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
40 small cloves of garlic - if you unpeel them, they make a fabulous sauce. If you leave them in the skin, that is fine, but you will need to peel them to eat them when they are cooked.
1/2 c. mushrooms (optional)
1 c. chicken broth (you can sub 1/2 with white wine, if you like)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. broth or wine
Pat chicken dry with kitchen paper. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add chicken and garlic cloves (and optional mushrooms). Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side or just until browned, turning once. Add 1 c. liquid, lemon juice, basil and oregano. Simmer, covered 6-8 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a warm serving platter. You have a couple of options now. If you peeled the garlic, you can mash them into the sauce. If you didn't peel them, remove them from the broth and peel them (just use a butter knife). Just put it back into the pan. Mix together the corn starch and 2 Tbsp. broth or wine and add to the pan juices. Bring the pan juices to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Spoon sauce atop chicken. Serve with mash potatoes, boiled potatoes, rice, pasta or my favorite, zucchini!
Enjoy! And offer up a prayer for my sister and her family. Thanks!