Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tracy’s Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic

There’s no reason why delicious, flavorful food has to be laden with fat and calories and this recipe proves it. For many years I was afraid to try the classic dish ‘Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic’ just because of the amount of garlic. I can’t even think about 40 cloves of garlic….. Solution? Cut it down to 20. I also try to avoid frying food and keeping the skin on chicken which the classic recipes call for – that’s a lot of calories and unhealthy stuff….. Solution? Use boneless, skinless chicken. I also doubled the amount of cooking liquid to ensure a large amount of sauce. The result was absolutely fantastic! I think probably better than the classic recipes I have been studying for so many years. Do not hesitate to make this one….. This makes a lot, but you will want leftovers, trust me.

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half or even thirds widthwise
20 large cloves of fresh garlic – make sure they are ‘perfect’ and have no bruises or blemishes
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 C dry white wine
2 C chicken stock – your final product will only be as good as your ingredients, so be certain to use a low sodium stock (I prefer stock over broth…. Make the switch – you won’t be sorry….)
1 t dried thyme 
3 T flour
¼ C half and half ( or heavy cream)

Step One
Drop the garlic into recently boiled water for about 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and carefully peel. This took about 5 minutes, but the result was perfectly peeled garlic. 

Step Two
Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Brown the chicken in butter and oil. Do this over medium heat so the oil/butter combo doesn’t get too brown.  Be sure not to crowd the pan – give them some elbow room! 
Remove to a platter and continue until the stove is splattered and all the chicken has had a turn in the pan. J

Step Three
Sautee the garlic in the oil/butter for about 5 minutes – do not allow them to burn. Add the wine and stock and gently scrape up the bits of goodness on the bottom of the pan.

Return the chicken and all the juices to the pan, sprinkle with thyme, cover, and simmer on low for about 1-1/2 hours. I actually let the pan sit on the stove for another few hours before dinner which I think made the chicken ‘falling off the bone tender.’

Step Four
Once again, remove the chicken to a platter. At this point, I actually searched for the 20 cloves of garlic only to find they had cooked away….. there were a few small pieces left in the sauce, which I removed with a slotted spoon.  Take about 1 Cup of hot liquid from the pan and whisk in ¼ C flour. Add ¼ C half and half and pour this slurry mixture back into the pan. Boil and stir for about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and bring up to temperature.

You must plan to serve this with something which will sop up the juice. As you can see in the photo above, I served it with quinoa. Better might have been couscous or rice or even better still – mashed potatoes…..