Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic – Recipe

Posted: June 20, 2015 in Recipes
Tags: ,

Chicken with forty cloves of garlic is a classic casserole dish that is just made for the middle of winter. As we are coming up to the winter solstice I thought it would be appropriate to serve up this amazing dish. Actually I should credit Kathy, my Mother-in-law for this one – she’s a big time foodie and an inspirational cook. She’s the kind of cook that start’s planning for the main meal the night before, and she’s not the type to just throw together something bland and uninteresting. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal cooked by Kathy.

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Not quite there…

I think Kathy made this on my first trip over to Florida with Katie when we first got engaged about 9 years ago. I was dubious about a dish that contained 40 actual cloves of garlic – I mean I like garlic – but that sounded like some crazy future mother-in-law move to keep Katie and I from making out – for the next 10 years… But being new, I played along. Kathy served the meal with green beans, mashed potato and fresh bread. And of course some pretty good wine as is always the case at the Steen table.It took about two bites of this dish for it to go straight into my top meals of all time. It really is that good. It’s a pretty old recipe and the version that Kathy uses is based on a James Beard recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 medium-size onions, diced
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 medium sized chickens, cut up into quarters
    • I keep the breast on the bone with the skin on and the wing drumette attached
  • ½ cup dry vermouth (I Use martini Brand – Vermouth is only good for two things, and both need the good stuff…)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40 cloves garlic peeled

Yep – there really is 40 cloves of garlic. I think the original recipe calls for unpeeled garlic – I’ve never had it that way but if you really can’t be bothered peeling 40 cloves, (And you can’t buy there already peeled) I’m sure it’s great with the garlic unpeeled…

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Put all the herbs and chopped veg into the bottom and then the chicken on top

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c
  2. Chop the celery and the onions and cover the bottom of a heavy casserole dish – I use my Le Creuset French Oven
  3. Sprinkle in the parsley and chopped tarragon
  4. Rub some of the oil over the chicken pieces and place in the casserole dish
  5. Pour the remaining oil (Kathy often uses less oil – I throw it all in) and the Vermouth over the chicken
  6. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and nutmeg over the dish and tuck the garlic around and under the chicken (You can put in half before you put the chicken in the dish)
  7. Cover the top of the casserole dish tightly with aluminium foil and place lid over the top to create an airtight seal.
  8. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes without removing the cover.

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You will be amazed at how much liquid is created – and this is the best part of the dish… The fished product really doesn’t look all that flash. And if it were a restaurant, I’m sure they would pan off the chicken pieces a bit like confit duck, and then serve it with the sauce. Don’t bother, leave it as is – it tastes a good as it smells – not as it looks.

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You can see here just how much liquid is created – these pan juices are delicious

Spoon over as much of the sauce as you can – it’s delicious to sop up with some fresh French bread – baguette. It’s also great if you serve it with gnocchi, or mashed potato. You can also spread the tender garlic cloves onto the bread, it really is quite delicious.

This really is one of my favourite meals to make and eat at home, and apart from the peeling of the garlic, it’s a pretty easy meal to make.

 

 

 

 

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