Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CHICKEN WITH 40 GARLIC CLOVES

It's gotten so cold and blustery these past two weeks - once the sun goes down, all I want to do is cozy up with my little family for a warm meal and go to bed nice and early. These long dark evenings suit my homebody tendencies.

This easy chicken dish, from Alice Waters' fantastic new cookbook Art of Simple Food II, is just the kind of comforting one-pot main that calls my name this time of year. The chicken is tender, moist and infused with a subtle herby garlic flavor - plus all those roasted garlic cloves are heavenly squeezed onto little toasts. And oh my is the sauce delish... you can't help but mop it up with a smile on your face.

As Alice suggests, you'll only need a simple arugula salad (sauteed spinach is also nice) and toasted bread on the side and you're done. Family meal accomplished.

INGREDIENTS from Alice Waters' Art of Simple Food II
printable recipe
  • 4 chicken legs, or one whole chicken cut into pieces
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 40 unpeeled cloves garlic (from 3-4 heads)
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • for serving: toasted slices of crusty bread {Bay Area GF folks: Mariposa baguettes are quite nice here}; simple arugula salad or sauteed spinach

Note: If possible, generously season the chicken with salt and pepper the night before cooking.

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. First, deeply brown the skin side of the chicken - 10-12 minutes. Flip the pieces and brown the underside for another 4 minutes or so. (In order not to crowd the chicken pieces, I do the browning in a couple of batches.)

Preheat oven to 375.

While the chicken is browning, separate garlic cloves leaving their skins on but removing excess papery skins. Place 40 individual garlic cloves in the bottom of a lidded baking dish. Add thyme sprigs, a bay leaf and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat.

When the chicken is nicely browned, nestle it on top of the garlic and herbs. Cover the pan with foil, then the lid. Place pan on the middle rack of your hot oven. After 50 minutes, take off the lid and foil and let the chicken cook another 10 minutes to crisp the skin a bit.

Serve slices of toasted rustic bread with the chicken to dip into the delectable juices in the bottom of the pan.

Serves 4

Wishing you all warm, peaceful, healthy holidays!!!!

44 comments:

  1. Mouthwateringly garlicky!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. That's for sure Rosa! xo E

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  3. Erin, I'm reading your chicken recipe and although it's still morning, boy, this dish sounds like my kind and made me so hungry:) I will dedicate my last few garlic bulbs for this recipe! Oh, I wish I planted more garlic last fall... I usually end up having too many harvested bulbs into spring time and they sprouted and dried up and wasted. Stay warm and Happy Holidays to you!

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    1. Oh no Emi, it's such a shame when goodies from the garden go to waste:(
      Lucky you to have such luck growing garlic - next spring this recipe will come in handy.
      Happy holidays to you too!
      xo
      E

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  4. Yes, yes, yes. 40 cloves of garlic = DONE.

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  5. Love the beauty and simplicity of this...family dinner coming up.

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    1. Katie, it's so darned easy, and really good! Just my kind of family dinner:)
      xoxo
      E

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  6. Exactly as Katie said. This looks like such a low-effort, high-impact dish, it almost looks too good to be true. (But I'm sure it's true.) I'm going in!

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    1. Cheryl, low-effort, high impact is right. Believe it! Thank you Alice.
      xo
      E

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  7. WOW - my mouth is now watering. Have not had dinner yet and I pop onto your site and literally wish I could pluck this from the screen and enjoy this very moment. A must make for sure. Boy has it been cold here in the Bay Area - it is currently 35 degrees at my house. Yikes. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season and I am sure you are baking up a storm! Smile.

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    1. I know! I feel like such a wimpy Californian, but this really is COLD. If it's going to be in the 30s, we might as well get snow, right?
      All well here Lisa! xoxox to you and yours,
      E

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  8. I adore garlic and often roast a few extra cloves with chicken so we can squeeze the caramelized goodness out of each papery shell. Presumably you don't eat all 40 cloves (!) - do you use them afterwards for salad dressings and things?

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    1. We often roast the whole cloves with potatoes, but never 40 until now! Surprisingly, we don't always have leftovers, but when we do, the roasted garlic is wonderful in dressings for sure!
      xoxo
      E

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  9. Oh Erin, you hit a sweet spot with this chicken dish. I loooove garlic!! If I ever make this, which I will, I guarantee you all 40 cloves will disappear the same day. Oh yes, I will be the one who eats them all. :)

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    1. Us too Magda - We eat them all:))) xoxo

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  10. Oh yes, this is definitely getting made VERY soon. Chicken & garlic is such a good combination and this sounds like a perfect meal for a cold and blustery night. Lovely! xo

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    1. Kathryn, it's so darned easy too. I hope you enjoy! xoxo

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  11. Roasted garlic is addictive. The roasting mellows its bite and it becomes the most heavenly flavor imaginable. This chicken makes great use of that.

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    1. Carolyn, you're so right. Chicken... garlic...a few herbs... it feels like such a natural dish, I can't believe I haven't been making it for years. xoxox

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  12. Roast chicken is my favourite, favourite supper. The more garlic, the merrier! We've been in the deep freeze here for so long, and it's not even officially winter yet. Send me warm thoughts! I too like hunkering down in the evenings, with a cookie, a cat and a cup of tea. :)

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    1. Renee, I'm definitely sending warm thoughts your way! It's nice to imagine you cozying up with your kitty, a cookie and tea:)
      xo
      E

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  13. Of course you could make something as humble as baked chicken legs look so delicious and elegant! I lovvvvve those forks! This will be on our table soon. It's cold here and we need our comforting protein. And garlic! haha. Yes.

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    1. I hope you and your gang enjoy it! xoxo E

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  14. I'm exactly the same. Cold weather makes me crave the comfort of my home, of lights, warmth and delicious dishes like this one. I love garlic in every form, so this chicken dish was made for me. Absolutely love the look of it! Hope you're reallly well, Erin! xoxo

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    1. Denise,if you're a garlic- lover, this one's for you! xoxo

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  15. I can relate to cosy-ing up in the cold short days of winter. We do exactly the same around here in winter but now it is daylight until 10pm so instead we spend the evening in the garden. I will bookmark this recipe for trying in 6 months in the heart of NZ winter.

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    1. Nicola, of course it's the middle of summer for you:) Having spent two Christmases in New Zealand, I smile every time I think of all you Kiwis having beach barbeques this time of year. Enjoy all of the summer delights for me, will you?
      xo
      E

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  16. One of my favs! Garlicky dishes make me happy :) Enjoy the holidays, Erin!! xxoo

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  17. All that cold and no snow! How unfair!

    This looks so so yummy. I am a garlic fiend, and I'm so happy that my boyfriend is too. This recipe will up-garlic anything he could throw my way, that's for sure:)

    Happy holidays, Erin. I hope you and your little family get to spend some cozy days together next week! xo

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    1. I know! My kids would kill for snow. I don't even think they could imagine the winter wonderland you live in. Wishing you the best, Emma!
      xoxo
      E

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  18. I first discovered chicken with 40 cloves of garlic in one of Ina Garten's cookbook, and you're right, it's perfect for cold winter nights. Your photos are lovely too. Happy Christmas!

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    1. Jess, happy Christmas to you as well! xoxo E

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  19. I was just thinking that I'd like to have something like this for dinner tonight. It's a perfect winter meal!

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  20. Oh good Lisa! If you made the dish I hope it treated you right. It's so easy and the flavors are totally rich and comforting. This one is now in our regular rotation of go-to winter mains.
    xoxo
    E

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  21. Chicken is actually one of my favorite ingredients to cook with! It never gets old for me! This looks like like such a great dish. Very classic but flavorful.

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    1. I'm with you Jessica... can't go wrong with a good chicken dish!

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  22. I thought you should know that I made this for dinner last night after a week away. It was a perfect coming-home dish. I just finished the leftovers for lunch (cold) and must have polished off the remaining 20 garlic cloves all by myself. (I didn't plan to eat them all but sometimes these things happen.) Can smell my breath all the way up there in Berkeley? I'm guessing the answer is yes.

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  23. Cheryl, I'm proud to be responsible for your killer garlic breath;) Welcome home. Xoxo E

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  24. Mmmm…I can smell this through the laptop screen!

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    1. Lynn, I love that smell! I hope the chicken was delicious!

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  25. Oh my goodness, this looks like the perfect winter meal. We've had snow falling for the last few weeks and all I want to do is hide inside and make roasted dinners. I've heard the name of this dish before, but didn't realize that the garlic cloves were unpeeled! That makes it seem like a much easier dish to prep

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    1. Stephanie, even though it's oddly warm here in California these days, I still crave hot roasted meals;) And this chicken is so easy and totally satisfying. I hope you enjoy it.
      xoxo
      E

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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