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Chicken with 40 {GARLIC} Cloves ...Happy National Garlic Day!

Yup, one of my favorite celebrations of the year is today.  I mean, most of you know that I already celebrate the stinking rose almost daily, but any excuse to shout it loud and proud. I love garlic!  Yee-Haw!  Okay, sorry.  This is a dish that I cannot believe I haven't posted before today.  It was one of the first things I made regularly when I first went out and lived "on my own"...so I've been making it in some form or another for at least 12 or 13 years.  And yet, this is its first appearance here.  I'd thought about it before, but didn't stop to take photos or record exact-ish amounts before now.  Prompted by my sister asking me for the recipe, I decided what better day to share this dish packed with earthy, pungent, beautifully stinky and delicious roasted garlic than National Garlic Day!?  I know that there are many versions of this floating around out there...and if you don't try this one...try another one.  I'm pretty sure that with 40 cloves of garlic in one dish, you can't go wrong.  And while roasting the garlic mellows it, I'm gonna admit it still seeps from every pore on your body for a day or two afterwards.  If you eat a bunch of the cloves, that is.  And I do.  And I don't care...because hubby does, too.  But I thought I'd warn you.  You know, in case you had an important job interview or a long car ride with others (who didn't partake in the festivities) or a hot date or something.  Save this dish for when those things are over.  Or make it for your date and eat it together.  Anyhoo...
Chicken with 40 {GARLIC} Cloves
from the kitchen of girlichef
serves ~4

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pcs. (or ~2½-3 lbs. chicken, already in pieces)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
40 garlic cloves, UNpeeled
½ c. white wine
small handful fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 c. chicken stock or broth
1½ Tbs. butter, at room temp.
In a large, wide, deep skillet or dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Pat the chicken dry with some paper towels, season all over with salt and pepper and add to pan.  Do this in batches, if necessary.  You don't want to crowd the pan...you want a good, golden color on the chicken.  Turn chicken over when golden on the first side and repeat on the second side.  Carefully pour almost all of the fat from the pan, leaving about a tablespoon or so.

Add the garlic cloves to the spaces in between the chicken pieces, along with the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.  Pour in the wine, then cover tightly and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer very gently for ~30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove chicken and garlic cloves to a serving platter.  Discard thyme stems and bay leaves.  Turn the heat up to high and pour in the chicken stock.  Reduce by half (you should have just over a cup left).  Remove from heat and stir in the butter.  

Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garlic.
My favorite way to eat this is with a loaf of crusty bread to shmear the garlic all over.  Simply pop it from the skin with your fingers onto the bread.  Smoosh it all together and eat with the chicken.  A simple salad dressed with vinaigrette goes well with it, also.  Oh, and don't forget to bring the rest of that bottle of wine to the table.  This is one of my favorite meals of all time.

I have also made this with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Make it the same way as above, but start checking the doneness of the chicken after 15 minutes or so...chicken cooks quicker when it's off the bone...and you don't want it to dry out.  Or use all thighs and/or legs.  Choose your favorite pieces...it'll taste amazing no matter what!

How will you be celebrating National Garlic Day?  And please don't tell me you're not celebrating it.  Lie to me, if necessary.  Peace, love, and garlic...

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