Saturday, January 7, 2012

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

There have been different versions of this recipe circling around the blogosphere and I was quite intrigued by it. I had 2 whole chickens in the freezer that I've been wanting to use up. But instead of making just a regular, run-of-the-mill roasted chicken, I thought that maybe I should finally try to make this. So after sifting through a few versions, I settled on this recipe from What's Cookin' Chicago?

I know 40 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot, but trust me on this one. The garlic flavor is a little more subtle than expected. And cooking this dish filled the house with this wonderful smell that I couldn't wait to dig in to it. Serve this with a side of pureed root vegetables, like potatoes. Delicious.

40 cloves of garlic (about 3 heads of garlic)
1 whole chicken, cut into legs, thighs and wings
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. Bourbon (or substitute with 1-2.5 tsp. vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh Thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1) Separate the cloves of un-peeled garlic and place in a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds. Drain garlic and peel (note: you can skip this step and purchase already peeled garlic). Set aside.

2) Dry chicken pieces with a paper towel. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin-side first, for 3-5 minutes on each side until nicely browned. If the oil/butter starts to burn, turn the the heat down to medium. Transfer chicken to a plate.

3) Add all garlic into the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5-10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of Bourbon (or 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract) and the wine. Return to a boil, scraping the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan.

4) Return chicken to the pot, including all its juices. Sprinkle the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

5) Once chicken is done, place on a platter and tent them with a foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce with flour to make a slurry. Whisk slurry into the the remaining sauce in the pot to thicken. Increase the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon bourbon (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract) and cream. Boil for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over the chicken platter and serve hot with rice, pasta, or mashed root vegetable.

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