Wish Upon A Dish: What can I say about Ina's Chicken w/Forty Cloves of Garlic?

November 10, 2010

What can I say about Ina's Chicken w/Forty Cloves of Garlic?

The Nudge makes a face every time I put this recipe on our monthly menu.

I have made this 3 times already and each time he loved it. He has the memory of a fish (which by the way is ZERO).

Yup, not even a molecule of memory exists. When it comes to food he says that's my area of expertise and he trusts me to feed him good things.

This recipe is a good thing.

Ina buys a whole chicken cut up. I use pieces. Ina makes her own stock with the scraps, I do not. I do not need a backbone or giblets.

Plan on 1 quarter chicken per person. The Nudge likes the breast and I love the thigh. When I get the leg quarters for $.49 a pound I buy many, many, many. This is the perfect recipe for leg quarters. Make 4 leg quarters and no breasts. All up to you.

This is also a very Diabetic Friendly recipe if you serve it with creamy polenta and a vegetable. I would choose a soft vegetable like spinach or escarole and if the chard looks good, go with that.

I am just reheating the roasted vegetables from last nights double duty dinner with a half can of yellow and white corn. I have a busy day today and making double last night helps me tackle that "ToDoList".

I probably should have sprinkled some chopped parsley over the chicken before serving for some color. It is a little brown, huh? Next time.

This is an excellent and easy dish to prepare. One pot rules again.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

* 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
* 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons good olive oil
* 3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
* 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, 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 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, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

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