Don't be put off by the large quantity of garlic, as the flavor mellows in the cooking. Good with boiled new potatoes and green beans.
- 15 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 chicken breasts, with skin and bone
- 2 cups hard dry cider
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- Shallow flameproof casserole
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Parcook the unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, rinsed under cold running water, and peel. set aside.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a shallow flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the skin is deep golden brown. Turn over, add the cider, apple juice, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Cover and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with a knife.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and half of the garlic to a deep platter and keep warm. Skim the fat from the cooking juices, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, crushing the garlic into the sauce with a spoon, about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
4. Add the cream and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the casserole and baste. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve immediately.