How to cook the perfect chicken with 40 cloves of garlic – recipe | Felicity Cloake

Sumary of How to cook the perfect chicken with 40 cloves of garlic – recipe | Felicity Cloake:

  • Flicking through my parents’ copy of Nigel Slater Real Food as an impressionable teenager, one impossibly daring recipe leapt out:.
  • chicken with 40 cloves of garlic may have already been a bit old hat in Nigella Lawson childhood, but in the provinces, such a quantity still seemed, as Lawson notes, “somehow dangerously excessive”..
  • (Unsurprisingly, I never plucked up the courage to test her.) The idea is often described as Provençal, though Elizabeth David makes reference to similar dishes from both the Dauphiné, slightly farther north, and the Béarn, in the south-west of France, so, in the absence of firm evidence to the contrary, it seems more than likely that chicken was prepared with large amounts of garlic wherever large quantities of garlic were grown..
  • Joyce Goldstein writes in her 1999 book The Mediterranean Kitchen that, “traditionally, this dish is made with a whole roast chicken, baked in a sealed casserole with the garlic cloves and a bouquet garni”..
  • They’re thus perhaps the more sensible choice, but it said Beard loved the recipe for its theatricality, often demonstrating it on television for that reason, and, to me, that points towards the whole birds used by Caroline Craig in Provence:.
  • (If you’re feeding a crowd, or fussy eaters, by all means use chicken joints instead, but you will, in my opinion, miss out on some of the pleasure.) Like Phipps, I’m going to pot roast the chicken to infuse it with garlicky flavour, and to stop the garlic itself from drying out in the heat of the oven, so a brief preliminary sizzle in a hot pan will help offset its inevitable pallor, making it worth the faff of wrestling with a whole bird over a hot stove..
  • It seems likely that this dish was probably originally intended to be made with the fresh spring garlic Craig describes as melting into “ludicrously soft and sweet little parcels”.
  • And David quotes Paul-Louis Couchoud that, for success, one requires “heads of garlic from Provence, which have matured quickly and so have not had the time to become too impregnated with their special aroma”..
  • (Indeed, with the right garlic, you could even add 100 cloves, as Helen Rosner boldly claims, and not be overwhelmed, except perhaps by the embarrassment of riches.) Fortunately, large heads of fresh garlic aren’t hard to come by in early summer, and are certainly the best choice for a dish that, despite its fearsome name, is one of surprisingly gentle, mellow sweetness..
  • However, it too good to save for a few short months, so if you can’t find wet garlic, look for large heads with fewer, more generously proportioned cloves, rather than the small, tightly packed heads that seem to be more common in supermarkets..
  • (If you do find yourself with a few Lilliputian cloves, it best to copy Phipps and pierce them with a knife, so their flavour can perfume the dish, even if their flesh does not.) Cooks Illustrated bakes its garlic separately ….
  • My esteemed predecessor in these pages, Richard Ehrlich, warns that, though there disagreement over whether or not to peel the garlic before use, one should not do so “under any circumstances”..
  • The same goes for the Cook Illustrated garlic, which is baked separately, then added to the pan at the last minute, apparently because they find the stuff in the traditional recipe “spiritless”..
  • I respectfully disagree, preferring to cook the garlic with the chicken, so the two can commune in the pot, then squeeze the soft, pulpy flesh into the chicken juices to make a sauce, as in Phipps’ version..
  • That said, I love the texture of the slow-cooked cloves, which, as Couchoud says, should be “as tender and sweet as new potatoes”, so I’m going to keep some whole to enjoy as a vegetable accompaniment to my garlic-flavoured chicken in garlic sauce..
  • Most people eschew other vegetables, preferring to let the garlic do the talking, but Beard bakes the bird on a bed of onion and celery, while Cooks Illustrated adds shallots, which it says make the sauce “fuller and rounder”…

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