October 8, 2010

Comfort food

We've had a spate of cold weather (and the annual fall colds) around here, so comfort food has been a pretty high priority. After consuming more cup o'noodles than was probably healthy, I've started in on some of my favorite fall recipes.  The first one may possibly be one of my favorite foods of all time: Chicken with Forty Cloves. My mom used to make this sometimes, and I would eat my weight in it.  The recipe is more or less attributed to James Beard, but I don't always do it his way. Because following recipes to the letter is no fun doncha know.

The Cast of Characters:

3 or 4 stalks of celery chopped up small
an onion, likewise diced up fine (sometimes I leave out the onion. It honestly depends on how much chopping I feel like doing)
some chicken thighs and legs. I use 4-6, but I eat the mush more than the chicken, so basically use a piece or two for each person
2/3 c or so olive oil
1/2 dry vermouth
2 1/2 tsp salt. I usually add about half this and salt the finished product to taste
good amount black pepper
40 cloves of garlic. Yeah. 40. That's about 3 or so heads.
some good crusty bread for serving

Preheat the oven to 375. Peel the garlic. James Beard doesn't but I think it is easier in the long run. Yes if you want to use the pre-peeled garlic go ahead, but it's out the ass expensive, and doesn't taste as good. But no judgment.  Chop up that which must be chopped.  Put the onion and celery in the bottom of some oven safe dish, something with a lid.  Sprinkle on a good amount of parsley and tarragon. Coat the chicken in the oil and put it in the dish. Chuck in all the garlic, pour the remaining oil and the vermouth over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and bake for roughly 80 minutes. JB wants you to do some crazy shit with flour paste and tinfoil and the lid, and whateverthefuckelse, but I just use the lid and it comes out fine. You want your chicken cooked and your garlic smushy.  I also do this in my crock pot a lot, and might even prefer it that way. Use the bread to soak up all the awesome garlic mush from the bottom of the pan. And before you ask, no you cannot cut the garlic. God will smite you.  Not really, but do remember that roasted garlic is super mild, without the bite of raw garlic. Promise. Although you will have garlic breath. Embrace it. Then go get seconds.


Alyssa said...

Love your interpreted recipe! I tired some derivation of this recipe years ago without any need-to-do-that-again feeling. You have inspired me to re-think this recipe and give it another try. Hate to admit, I have a bag of the pre-cleaned garlic bulbs (needed something as I kept getting not-so-good garlic from our gourmet grocery store.)

Thanks for sharing! I will now need to remember to bookmark your blog :).

Linked from Ravelry.

Eleanor said...

You should totally try it again. I love it!