Technically, I had planned to make a variation of this meal a couple of days ago, but was so busy trying to do my cooking for the freezer that I never got around to it. But it ended up being the perfect choice for tonight, because the meal was substantial and I was feeling really famished after not really eating at all earlier in the day.
We got some hardneck garlic in our CSA box last week, and I picked up some additional at the farmer’s market this last weekend, in hopes of finally getting around to make Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. My husband said that he thought it would be overwhelmingly garlicky, but I’ve read that once the garlic roasts, it becomes mild in flavor. Kind of like peppers, I suppose. When you chop, mince or crush garlic it intensifies the flavor, so it makes perfect sense, right?
I had originally planned on using a Cooking Light recipe for the chicken, but instead ended up using an Alton Brown recipe from the Food Network website, without changing a thing. Delicious, “like buddah” as I joked to my husband. And for the potatoes, I did follow the Cooking Light recipe, but used half the amount of potatoes (2 lbs vs. 4 lbs), used Red Rose (with pink insides) potatoes that I picked up at the Worthington Farmer’s Market this past weekend, and they turned out perfectly – just the thing needed to compliment the chicken and garlic. Also, rather than reducing the balsamic vinegar as the directions state, I just used the really thick and concentrated good balsamic vinegar to begin with, a choice which I do not regret in the least. I served both with a fresh spinach salad topped with red onion slivers, goat cheese, blueberries, and a fantastic balsamic vinaigrette that I purchased at Pastaria at the North Market. Both recipes are below in their original context.
40 Cloves and a Chicken (Alton Brown)
1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
40 peeled cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.
New Potatoes with Balsamic and Shallot Butter From Cooking Light
The balsamic butter mixture is deep brown and tastes delicious. The butter can be made ahead, chilled, and tossed with the potatoes just before serving.
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds small red potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Place in a medium bowl, and cool completely. Add butter, chopped shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; stir well to combine. Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cut potatoes in half; place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add butter mixture and parsley; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 246(29% from fat); FAT 7.9g (sat 4.9g,mono 2g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 4.6g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 34mg; SODIUM 221mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.9g