Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recipe to Try

Hey guys. I'm glad you stopped by. I have a great recipe for you to try. It's called, "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic." Now, I know what most of you are thinking. It's not a ton of garlic; only about two bulbs. And it's not strong at all. Once you've added all the rest of the ingredients, the flavor becomes more mellow.

Now, I've done this recipe twice already. Once a couple days ago, and the other about 2 years ago. It's not time to dictate the recipe to you, because you can find it here. This is the original post and I love, LOVE the fact that this one is for chicken breast not an entire bird. AND it has no alcohol at all, (because I don't drink and the alcohol does NOT completely cook away despite of what they tell you). If you want one with stuff like cognac or sherry, you can check places like the food network. Okay, so what I AM going to do is give you a list of cooking tips, (and maybe a few pictures), so when you try this recipe you won't make the same mistakes I did the first time (or the second).

  1. Difficulty level: Advanced. If the most difficult thing you do is add oil and eggs to a powdered cake mix, you're not going to want to try this. 
  2. Read the ENTIRE recipe before you begin. If you quick scan it like me, you'll miss some important steps. Honestly, I cannot stress this enough.
  3. Peel the garlic first thing. I got in touch with the original poster and she gave me a few great tips for peeling garlic. If you don't have a garlic peeler, you can buy one at your local kitchen gadget place or what not for around $9.00 or less. Here's the link she sent me. She said it is quote "...amazing and super easy." You just roll it around and it takes care of the rest. If you don't have a garlic peeler, I found a great way to peel without it. You take your largest kitchen knife, like a chef's knife, and squish the little cloves. The skin will break and be easier to peel without you smelling like garlic down to your pores. Check out the video she sent me. If you can't get the clove out, tap the tops lightly with your knife and the top will pull right off. The squish and squish. That's it. 

4. Use paper products when transfering your chicken around. This recipe calls for a lot of "season then move" kind of thing. The last thing you want is cross contamination. For those that don't know, cross contamination is where, for example, you get raw chicken juice on cooked chicken, or veggies or something. And just one more thing to add 'cause I can, Tongs. Tongs are going to be your bestest friend in this recipe. Not only will it help prevent cross contamination, but you won't be running to wash your hands every 10 minutes. (My hands got, uh..."Chicken-y" and I had to wash a LOT!) 
5. The recipe calls for that chicken to be pounded within a 1/2 inch of it's life. Or...uh...thickness rater. My meat tenderizer did NOT do the job right. If you're grocer is lucky enough to still have the onsite butcher, you can ask that they pound your meat (no pun intended) before you purchase it. No fuss, no muss. 
6. When the recipe calls for browning, don't take it lightly. This is where the most cooking takes place for the entire recipe. You'll get about 20 minutes in the oven later on, but that's not enough time if you haven't browned your chicken well enough before hand. Check out the next two pictures. If you meet is pink on the sides like the one in the first one, keep that sucker in the skillet. Once it gets that brown sear mark on it, (like the bottom one), you're good to go. And just to be safe, your chicken juices should run clear before you pull them out.

7. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Something my mother-in-law always says to me when she comes to visit. I wonder why.... Oh well, back to business. You will be moving cooked breasts to plates, maneuvering your baking dishes, and skillet around, etc. while making this recipe. You really need to have enough space cleared before hand so you have a spot for everything. Things WILL be hot and if you don't prepare, you will be sad just like I was.
8. Brown your garlic. The recipe calls for you to add your garlic cloves straight to the broth/stock, and that's not a bad thing at all if you want to. I just find that I like to eat the cloves, and the ones that were added to the broth weren't as tender as the ones that I had browned gently before hand. Still good, so personal preference here. You just want a nice, simple sear on your garlic cloves before you add the broth, but again, you don't have to.
9. 2% milk, or not 2% milk. The recipe calls for 2% milk, and if you had read if before hand, you'll have noticed that 2% is what she happened to have in her cupboard. I can't drink milk with a high fat content because of my lactose intolerance, so I just stuck with my skim milk and I think it turned out fine. The 2% does give it a little bit more of a creamy texture, so again, personal preference.
10. Parsley in the oven isn't bad. The fresh parsley is for garnishment at the end, but if you add it to the chicken while it's still in the oven, say about 5-10 minutes before you take it out, it wouldn't hurt. I think it adds a better flavor because parsley that hasn't been cooked has such a bold flavor to it. Parsley with a bit of heat behind it makes that flavor seem more gentle and for some, easier to take. 

Well, them are my tips for y'all. I hope you get as much use out of them as I did. The first time I did this recipe my husband and I spend hours just peeling the garlic. This time it was like an hour tops. So good luck and enjoy. As always, I am a comment junkie, and I would LOVE to hear how this has gone for you. Keep me up to date. LOVES!

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