Thursday, January 28, 2010

Garlic. Lots and Lots of Garlic

Chicken with Lots and Lots and Lots of garlic!!! 40 Cloves. Not bad. I want to play around with the recipe some more, see if I can get more flavor into the chicken--mine was good, juicy, etc, but the garlic flavor seemed to really be only in the sauce. Which is totally ok!

Start by searing some chicken. I used bone-in/skin on chicken thighs. Add some oil to a pan and let the chicken really sear and great good and brown. This will develop flavor, sear in the juice and render some chicken fat out, so make a tasty sauce! Set the chicken to the side and move to the garlic.

While the chicken sits, start to saute 40 cloves of garlic in the fat and with a bit of butter! This is silly crazy good. Awesome aroma. Make sure to keep the garlic cloves moving so they don't burn.

When the garlic begins to brown, add 2 cups of wine. More brilliant aroma! Bring to a boil and return the chicken to the pan. Now watch this...the garlic and wine go from this...fairly clear liquid and cloves to this...

...a creamy, opaque sauce. I have no idea what chemical reaction happened, but whatever it was, it was delicious! You can stop here, or you can thicken the sauce with some flour and enrich it with a splash of cream. I'm not sure it's necessary.

Serve the sauce over the chicken and with some egg noodles if you like. As much as I don't like it, I think some sauted spinach would be good with this. The creamy, garlicky goodness would play nicely with the greens.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
from Anne's Food, by way of Ina Garten

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
salt pepper
2 TB olive oil
1 TB butter
3 whole garlics - about 40 cloves
2 cups dry white wine
3 TB cognac
2-3 TB flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt, pepper, sugar

Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add all the garlic cloves and blanch for one minute. Drain and let them cool - they will now be super easy to peel, which is your next step.

Dry the chicken with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a heavy pot, and brown the chicken. Start with the skin-side down, and keep the heat fairly high. When the chicken is nicely browned on both sides, set it aside. You have to work in batches, or the chicken won't brown. When all the chicken pieces are done (and set aside), add the peeled garlic cloves to the pot and fry for about ten minutes on medium high heat. They should be golden, but they can burn easily so watch them!

Add the wine and two tablespoons of the cognac. Bring to a boil, add the chicken and cover with a lid. Lower the heat, and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Test to see that the chicken is done, and if it is, remove it to a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep it warm.

Scoop out about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix with the flour. Add it back to the pot along with the last tablespoon of cognac, and a 1/4 cup of the cream. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Add more cream if it seems too thick. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if the wine you're using is very acidic. Pour the sauce, with all the garlic in it, over the chicken and serve.

1) I used store bought, pre-peeled garlic for this. Not the best way to move forward, but easy!
2) I don't have cognac. I thought about using some brandy, but settled on masala instead. Nice. I could have used some cream sherry. I think something along these lines is necessary for a final flavor note, but if you don't have a shot of liquor, that's ok.
3) I would try to use wine. If you don't have wine or prefer not to cook with wine you can use broth. You'll want some acidity, so maybe add a squeeze of lemon juice.
4) Consider adding some herbs. I had some freshly chopped parsley. Some thyme or rosemary would play very nicely.
5) The final step of cooking the chicken. When the chicken is in the wine/garlic sauce and simmer for 30 minutes, the crisp skin becomes very soggy and nasty. While finishing the sauce, I place the chicken, skin side up, on a baking sheet and place under the broiler in my oven for a few minutes to make the skin crispy. An extra step that is totally worth it!


Stef said...

I saw Ina Garten make this on her show. Looks deelish - LOVE Garlic!

DC Food Blog said...

Hey Stef, if you use chicken breasts, omit the cream and add lowfat sour cream instead and use EVOO to fry the chicken, it become relatively heart healthy.

Stef said...

thanks DCFB!

Edana said...

I can't wait to make this--thanks for the recipe! I usually double the garlic, but for some reason I don't think that'll be necessary here.