food: it smells as good as it looks!
Ever since I saw Ina make Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic on Barefoot Contessa, I knew it was a dish for me. In fact her show, over time, wore down my resistance to only cooking chicken in one way–baking breasts–as well as encouraging me to try other dishes I’d always passed over before. While I hold her easy lemon & garlic roast chicken recipe in high esteem, it’s this recipe I find myself making more and more. I recently bought a full-grown crock-pot after having success with the smaller one Norman sent me and my maiden voyage was the official Rival Crock-Pot recipe for the same dish.
People say that you can adapt just about any recipe involving a select few methods for the crock-pot, and it seems true. I had make a few changes, leaving the garlic unpeeled, and creating a bed of celery underneath the chicken. Ina’s recipe is pretty different and does produce a more “French” result. I’m pleased with the crock-pot result, but cooking a few things in it has me thinking that I need to get a fat separator. I finally find out that schmaltz is a real thing, and I now have Tupperware containers full of it in my fridge.
People have asked for the recipe, and it’s really simple…
[Crock-Pot] Chicken w/40 Cloves of Garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs Italian parsley
1 (3-4 lb.) whole broiler/fryer chicken
2 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
40 cloves garlic, unpeeled
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
toasted French bread slices
Place 1 sprig thyme, rosemary, sage and Italian parsley in chicken cavity. Place celery in stoneware. Put chicken on top of celery. Add garlic, unpeeled around chicken. Chop remaining herbs; sprinkle herbs and pepper over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours (HIGH: 3½ to 5 hours).
To serve, place chicken, garlic and celery on serving platter. Squeeze roasted garlic out of skins onto toasted French bread slices then spread with a knife.
That last part about spreading the garlic onto the toast is what really made it a “no kissing” night, but it was oh so good. Thankfully, the local Safeway had the “poultry package” of fresh herbs, so just the right amounts of sage, rosemary and thyme were all in one package–I can never use up fresh herbs fast enough. I think if I make this recipe again, I would use bone in chicken parts, browning them first and then proceeding with the recipe. I might also add some garlic salt or garlic powder to bump up the garlic flavor a little as the garlic doesn’t turn out at strongly sweet as if it were actually roasted. But the recipe is still a winner.
I’ve gotten a few recipes from friends, but I’m always happy for more crock-pot ideas. This set it and forget it cooking is something I’m slowly getting used to! Also… anybody need a cup of schmaltz? You can spread it on your biscuits… dance biscuits.