Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic)


Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic seems like a good idea until you need to peel the garlic. And, of course, I won’t cheat by using pre-peeled garlic. It doesn’t help that I’m somewhat allergic to garlic (it makes my fingers dry-out and crack; I have to wear gloves when I work with it).

But, really, garlic is good enough to be worth it. I could launch into a diatribe worthy of Cook’s Illustrated about how every other recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic was bad until I perfected it (or, in my case, found this recipe). It’d be somewhat be true. I have tried several other recipes in the past (with the requisite garlic peeling) and have found them wanting. The chicken never appropriated the garlic flavor. They were simply not worth the effort.

This recipe sort of snuck in under the radar. For one, it’s not called Chicken with Cloves of Garlic. It does, however, sneak those 40 cloves of garlic into the ingredients list. I got suckered in by the idea of chicken with garlic (how could that not sound good?) without realizing exactly what it was. By the time I realized exactly what it was, I had already committed.

I hate having to peel that much garlic

And that was a good thing because this is good. The chicken picks up a mild garlic flavor while still being juicy. The sauce is also quite tasty. It’s almost as good to dip bread in it as the sauce from Poulet Sauté aux Herbes (Sautéed Chicken with Herbs) (but not quite).

This is particularly good served with Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet (Madame Cartet’s Potato Gratin).

Yet another random picture of chicken cooking

Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic)
Adapted from Bistro Cooking

1 chicken, cut into pieces
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
about 40 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 cup white vermouth
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp butter, softened

  1. Season the chicken with salt up to a day in advance.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the pepper. Brown both sides of the chicken, working in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside when done.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic cloves. Place the chicken on top of the garlic. Sauté, shaking the pan occasionally, 10 minutes to lightly brown the garlic.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth and the chicken stock. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Bring the sauce to the boil to reduce until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened butter.
  6. Serve the chicken covered with the sauce and garlic.

Serves 4.


6 Responses to “Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic)”

  1. 1 Kevin May 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    This chicken sounds pretty tasty. I imagine that it would be a bit of work to peel 40 cloves of garlic!

  2. 2 Matt May 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    It really isn’t too bad to peel that many cloves of garlic. It just takes a little time. Luckily, the rest of the recipe is pretty easy so it makes up for the garlic peeling.

  3. 3 Shari May 20, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Peeling the garlic does sound tedious, but I’m glad it was worth it. I’ll have to give this a go.
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  4. 4 charlotte May 22, 2008 at 11:09 am

    As I was reading your note, I thought “I wonder if this will compare with the terrific recipe I’ve used over many years now from Patricia Wells’ Bistro book. And lo and behold, that’s your reference point. And it is a terrific one, happy to be adapted a bit.

  5. 5 Matt May 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    charlotte, that’s an amusing story. The only differences from the recipe from Bistro and mine are that I use vermouth instead of wine (come to think of it, I may actually have used wine this last time as I had just opened a bottle but I generally replace white wine with vermouth as vermouth doesn’t oxidize like wine) and added a butter enrichment to the sauce at the end (I like the additional flavor and texture from butter enrichment).

  6. 6 reg November 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    You don’t have to peel the garlic! I’ve made this many times from the old Food Lover’s Guide to France by Patrica Wells and that recipe does not require peeling.

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