November 14, 2010

40-CLOVE GARLIC CHICKEN


Some people may find it hard to believe that anything made with 40 cloves of garlic would be edible, but this dish is delicious and delicately flavored. The long, slow cooking tames the garlic into a vegetable while preserving its flavor and most of its health benefits. Because the dish is fairly juicy when done, it goes well served over cooked millet or barley and/or with a whole wheat French bread to mop up the juices and to act as a foil for the garlic.


8 chicken legs and thighs, skinned and separated
2 tbsp. oil
1 lg. onion, coarsely chopped (1 c.)
4 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (1 1/2 to 2 c.)
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 c. dry vermouth
1/2 tsp. salt, if desired
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Dash nutmeg
40 cloves garlic, separated but not peeled

Brush the chicken pieces on all sides with the oil. In a large casserole or heavy Dutch oven (5-6 quarts), combine the onion, celery, parsley, and tarragon. Lay the chicken pieces over the vegetables and herbs, and pour the vermouth over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Distribute the unpeeled garlic cloves throughout the casserole, tucking them under the chicken pieces. Cover the casserole tightly (you might fit a piece of foil around the top under the lid). Bake the chicken in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. DO NOT UNCOVER THE CASSEROLE until after this time has elapsed.
Serve the chicken with the garlic, advising the diners to squeeze the flesh from its paper coat. The garlic is especially tasty when eaten on crusty bread. Yield: 8 servings.

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