A classic French dish updated for simplicity that's packed with fresh flavours. Serve with roasted red potatoes and green beans.
1 head garlic
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock, homemade or low sodium
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
1/2 tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine
1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy
1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Grate enough peel from lemon to make 1 tbsp (15 mL). Remove any remaining peel and white pith from lemon and cut flesh into thin slices.
Separate garlic into cloves, cut off root ends but do not peel. Add to chicken stock in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer three minutes. Strain stock and reserve. Peel garlic cloves. If garlic cloves are large, cut in half lengthways.
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season breasts with salt, pepper and thyme, and fry skin-side-down four to five minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and fry second side for one minute. Remove breasts.
Place skin-side-up in oiled ovenproof dish that fits chicken snugly. Discard fat from skillet. Scatter lemon slices and garlic cloves around chicken. Sprinkle sugar on lemon slices.
Add wine to skillet, bring to boil, reduce by half. Stir in stock, brandy and grated zest. Bring to a boil, stirring. Add cream and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about five to eight minutes. Stir in parsley.
Bake chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is tender but not dry. Remove chicken and any lemon bits to serving platter. Scatter over garlic cloves. Remove any fat and pour any juices into sauce.
To serve, pour sauce over chicken.