Tuesday, November 10, 2015

40 Cloves of Garlic and a Chicken

Gggooooodddddd morning, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!!  Today I have another chicken recipe, but this one is one of my favorites (aren't they all my favorite??)  I know 40 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot for a recipe; it sounds like enough to drive away all of the vampires on the planet Earth.  
However, when they poach in the oil, they turn into roasted garlic, and get mild and sweet.  

This is another one of those recipes that uses a slow cooker, which is always convenient.  Of course, you can easily do this in the oven, but I like the ease of a slow cooker, myself.  
This chicken cooks in the olive oil, and is moist, flavorful, and fall apart tender.  You can also use the garlic that gets cooked with this, by smearing it on some toast for a roasted garlic bread.  YUM!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 package of bone-in chicken breasts
1/4 C chicken stock
1-2 heads of garlic*
4 lemons, sliced
1 tsp dried basil
8-10 stems of fresh thyme, or 1 Tbs dried thyme
2 C good olive oil
1-2 tsp Kosher salt
3-4 bay leaves

So, lets get started!  Preheat a heavy bottom pan (I prefer to use cast iron) over medium high heat; while you're waiting on that to heat up, season your chicken with the salt.  Lay your chicken, skin side down, in the preheated skillet, and leave it alone for 3-5 minutes, so that the skin gets lovely and brown.  While you're waiting for you chicken to brown, slice your lemons into 1/8 - 1/4 inch slices.  You don't have to cut your garlic up, but I like to slice each clove in half.  Actually, if you're not a fan of garlic, leave the cloves whole; the smaller you cut your garlic up, the stronger the flavor will be.  
This recipe is perfect if you have lemons that really need to be used.  As you can see here, these lemons that I had are in desperate need of being used!  

So, put your garlic in the crock of your slow cooker, and pull the chicken out of the skillet.  Don't leave all of those lovely brown bits in the bottom of the pan!  While the pan is still hot, pour the chicken stock in, and scrape the flavor bombs off of the bottom of the pan.  This is called deglazing, and is the basis of many sauces.  

So, put your chicken in the slow cooker, over the garlic, and lay on the bay leaves, basil and lemons.  

Pour in the olive oil, until it covers the chicken by about 2/3rds.  This should be about 2 cups of olive oil, but it could be more or less.  Set your slow cooker to low, and let this cook for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.  If you choose to do this in the oven, put all of this in a dutch oven, and bake for 3-4 hours at 400*.  I like to serve this with some rice pilaf and steamed broccoli, but to each their own, of course!