Making 40 Clove Garlic Chicken
…with Creamed Spinach Mashed Potatoes. Didn’t want to scare you with the long ass title there. So a few days ago bogoshipo made a foodwish for a Thanksgiving dish to bring over to her boyfriend’s parents house. We bounced off ideas at each other (I was throwing things like zaa’tar lemon chicken and cottage pie at her which probably scared her a bit) and arrived at a conclusion: she loves something with garlic. And so garlic it is then, all 40 cloves of them. Now the biggest ordeal in this recipe is probably peeling (and counting - you don’t want to miss a clove!) the garlic. The rest is a cruise. I served it with a creamed spinach and mashed potatoes combo because, well, it’s Thanksgiving and you’re allowed to splurge a little in the calorie department. You can serve it over polenta, roasted root vegetables or even risotto. You choose your delectable poison.
40 CLOVE GARLIC CHICKEN:
[ 40 cloves of garlic (about 3 heads), peeled + 2 tablespoon vegetable oil + 8-10 pieces of cut up chicken (you can use breast or thighs) + a small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped + 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth + 1/4 cup heavy cream + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + salt and black pepper ]
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F
Pat the chicken and skin dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or oven-safe skillet just until you start to see wisps of smoke. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, about 7-10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a plate (don’t try to pry the chicken off from the pan, if it is well browned, it will loosen by itself) skin-side up and set aside. Remove all the fat (the fat from the chicken will have rendered out and add to the oil you began with) until you’re left with just 1 tablespoon of oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook until evenly browned for about 1 minute.
Add in the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Scrape the brown bits off the pan and into the garlic. Add in the chopped parsley and cream. Return the chicken to the dutch oven, skin side up and remove from heat.
Now this step is totally optional, but you can make a “dough seal” by mixing 1/2 cup of flour with enough water to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 2 and roll into a long log and paste it onto the rim of the dutch oven before putting on the lid to make a complete seal. You can just use a piece of aluminium foil and then put the lid on. I ended up eating the dough seal with the garlic gravy (whaat? I hate wasting food!)
Moving on. Cook the chicken for about 20-25 minutes in the oven, or until the juices run clear.
Now if you want to make the creamed spinach mashed potatoes, now is the time to do so and here is the recipe:
CREAMED SPINACH MASHED POTATOES:
[ 2 lbs potatoes + 1/2 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoon unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon salt + 1/3 teaspoon black pepper + 6 cups baby spinach ]
Cover potatoes with salted cold water in a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.
While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.
Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly.
Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes and spinach until almost smooth. Season to taste and keep warm.
Get the chicken and place the pieces on a serving dish. Mash the garlic in the dutch oven and stir in the unsalted butter. There will be more than enough heat to melt it and make the sauce glossy.
Serve the chicken with the sauce and the spinach mashed potatoes.
Just in case you thought I was kidding about eating the dough seal.