Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chicken with 40+ cloves of garlic. (Too Much Garlic Can Only Be Good For You)


I dont believe that garlic can cure everything, but I am of the belief that you should at least give it a go. So on a recent Wednesday evening, when the energy of the house was a little off kilter and some family members weren't feeling entirely chipper, I put this theory to the test and made Chicken with Lots of Garlic. If you Google the recipe you'll find it at Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic but I lost count at forty and then threw them in until the bottom of the pot was covered.

A lot of garlic is not a scary thing. When it's cooked like this it's a sweet, mellow, warm, make you feel much better, smack your lips together taste. People won't baulk at being in your proximity and some of them will even want to kiss you - probably so they can distract you and steal your chicken so be wary of those. You won't scare vampires off with this amount of garlic either so if that's your thing maybe eat it with a big wooden stake by your side - I don't know, I haven't seen any of the Twilight movie so vampires are not my speciality.
This year I bought some beautiful garlic from . I missed out last year and now I'm cross with myself for not ordering more as she has now sold out. A few days after ordering online a beautiful purple box arrived at my door holding about 30 heads of garlic. At $20 plus postage, it's great value.

The garlic is grown biodynamically and no chemicals are used during production. The heads smell sweet with a beautiful colour, dry papery skin, and firm cloves with no trace of bitterness - it's delicious.

 Australian garlic can still be found in some fruit shops and supermarkets as the season draws to a close. Avoid Chinese garlic at all costs and if you're in any doubt about that, have a read of this and see if that doesnt make up your mind.

  I used the recipe from but there are hundreds to choose from.  They are basically just variations on the same theme, Nigella uses chicken thighs but most recipes use the whole chook.  Some use wine, some use water, others different herbs.  Just find one that you like and go with that.  Besides tasting fantastic this recipe is also a one pot dish so it just keeps getting better and better. 

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 lemon
1 large (about 1.6kg) free-range chicken
2 bay leaves
40ml (2 tbs) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs finely chopped rosemary
40 garlic cloves, skin on
300ml chicken stock
300ml white wine

Preheat oven to 190°C. Cut the lemon in half lengthways and place in the cavity of the chicken with the bay leaves. Tie the legs together with kitchen string to secure, (I forgot the string), then rub with the olive oil and sprinkle with the rosemary. Place the chicken in an ovenproof casserole dish, add the garlic cloves, stock and wine and bring to the boil on the stovetop over medium heat.

Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove lid and roast for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.

Remove the chicken from dish and set aside to rest. Use a slotted spoon to remove about 16 of the garlic cloves and set aside. Place the baking dish on the stovetop over high heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes to reduce to a sauce, pressing the garlic to release the flavour. Strain.
Serve the roast chicken with the reserved garlic cloves and drizzle with a little sauce.
I made it with roast potatoes but I think mashed spuds would be great so it could soak up the sauce.  As for the healing properties of garlic, I will happily vouch for them - there were smiles all round after dinner.  The Chocolate Ripple Cake for dessert may have helped the cause but I'm giving the garlic sole credit.