While my blogging partner has been busy ranting about the economy and the weather and Obamawama’s Blackberry, I—I—I have been derelict.
To atone for my silence on this blog, I now will share with you my Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe. Ever notice how that dish is always called Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic or Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic and not Chicken with 39 Cloves of Garlic? Are people supposed to be impressed by round numbers? The truth is that this dish could be made with any number of cloves of garlic between 25 and 99 and still be damn good.
Pay attention closely, because I’m only going to repeat this recipe once. Wait. I’m only going to say it once.
Get out a LeCreuset or Chantal covered pan. You know, the kind everyone had back in the 80s when we all had money. Today I deployed the Chantal 2 quart soup pot in classic cobalt blue with a glass lid. This color, incidentally, was the first color Chantal marketed in the U.S.
Wash and dry a chicken. It doesn’t matter whether the chicken is whole, halved, in pieces, with the skin on, or skinless. It could even be a Cornish game hen. Pouring some olive oil in the pan, brown the chicken slightly. Well, maybe until it’s golden, which wouldn’t really be brown, now would it? Chop up some celery, maybe six or eight ribs, depending upon how much celery you’ve got, how long the celery’s been hanging around in the refrigerator, how much chicken you’re cooking, and how much everyone likes celery. Throw that into the pan, making a bed underneath the chicken. Add peeled garlic, over, under, and around the chicken. Pluck some thyme and a couple of branches of rosemary from the garden, and place that over the chicken.
Now, here’s where some real decision-making comes into play: whether to settle for lemon or juice it up with Noilly Prat or Cinzano Extra Seco. I like cooking with dry vermouth, because the stuff’s got the shelf life of a Hostess Twinkie and all of the spices and herbs are already added. Think of it as an elegant form of Lipton’s onion soup or Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup or whatever the proletariat’s using these days. Just a few splashes will be sufficient. Cover and bake at around 325 F. until it’s done. You’ll know it’s done when the garlic is soft, buttery and sweet. While you’re waiting, bask in the wonderfully seductive aromas of garlic.
Oh, and if you’re ever in need of a most excellent chili recipe, go to Dallas personal injury lawyer Bob Kraft’s P.I.S.S.D. blog.