Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garlic Chicken with Garlic Garlic

Saturday afternoons as a kid were often PBS afternoons. We'd watch This Old House, Victory Garden, and Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet. Unfortunately, Jeff Smith's sex crime accusation made quick work of The Frugal Gourmet. Every trace of "The Frug" simply vanished. The show was cancelled (not a whif of a rerun in the last 25 years) and one of the best-selling cookbook series of the 80s simply stopped being printed and distributed. Not only was Smith punished, but the food was punished too. And WE were punished. For the love of Jeebus! Society can think what it would like to think about the man, but don't pass judgement on how great garlic and white wine go with chicken!

In my mind, this recipe typifies the cooking of The Frugal Gourmet. I know it sounds ABSOLUTELY ABSURD to cook with so much garlic, but I assure you that this recipe is phenomenally delicious! The garlic, when roasted, turns very sweet and mild. My mom claims that when you eat this, you seep garlic through your skin for 2 weeks afterwards, but I don't know about that...

--3 lb frying Chicken, whole
--41 cloves of Garlic (yes, you read that right!), 40 unpeeled plus 1 peeled and split
--Salt and Fresh-Ground Black Pepper
--3/4 cup Dry White Wine
--1/2 cup Chicken Stock (optional)
--1/2 cup Whipping Cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat the chicken dry. Rub inside and out with one split clove of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a baking pan. Arrange the cloves of garlic around in the pan. Stuff some inside the chicken, perhaps. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes and then pour wine over the chicken. Baste with the juices every ten minutes until the chicken is done (about an hour). I recommend cooking the chicken with a thermometer to assure that it's done, but do what you normally do.

You can serve the chicken on a platter with the garlic as is (which can be squeezed out like a mild, sweet paste) OR you can make it into sauce: Heat the chicken stock and cream in a small saucepan. Squeeze all of the garlic cloves into the sauce, discarding the peels. Simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

clairz said...

I had a very embarrassing incident happen to me one Monday after we had this garlic chicken dish on Sunday.

I was in a library staff meeting. Now, you need to know that one of the staff was convinced that eating raw garlic was making him very healthy, but his reputation preceded him, as it were. So, there we were, dozing around the big table as the meeting snoozed on, when suddenly the head librarian snapped: "Mark, leave the room! I've had it with your garlic!"

We all came to, fuzzily looking around the table, because we knew that Mark was downstairs, having drawn desk duty for the duration of the meeting. It gradually dawned on me that I was the culprit, and I slunk out of the room.

I guess my fellow librarians weren't as unaware as I was as to the source of the garlicky emanations...

From that time onward, we had Garlic Chicken with Garlic Garlic only at the beginning of a long, long weekend.