Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Ever since I received Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris cookbook from Mo-Fo for my birthday, I've been checking out the recipes before I went to bed every night in the past week so I decided to make Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic today. It looks relatively easy and deliciously rich - a perfect dish to make on Sunday afternoon to be eaten for the rest of the week. I served the chicken with Moroccan Couscous, another wonderful recipe from her book. Here is the recipe with a tiny bit of tweaking since the alcohol selection in my kitchen is not as vast as hers. If you don't want to add any alcohol to the dish, you can use low sodium chicken stock instead.

3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
5 pieces of whole legs, cut into drumsticks and thighs
2 pieces of half breasts, each cut into two
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Sherry (or Cognac), divided
1.5 cups extra dry Vermouth (or dry white wine)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Dry the chicken with paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Marinade for at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
  • Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and saute the chicken in batches, skin side down first, until nicely browned for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Make sure to use tongs or spatula so not to pierce the skin with a fork. When a batch is done, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches.
  • After the last batch is done and transferred to the plate, add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat to a medium low and saute for 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Sherry and the Vermouth, return to a boil and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done. Remove the chicken pieces to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat to a medium, add the remaining tablespoon of Sherry and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce and garlic over the chicken, sprinkle with some chopped parsley and serve hot over the couscous.

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