Sunday, July 30, 2017

No Recipe Cooking- Not Quite 40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken

It's garlic season in the Midwest. Garlic scapes are making their appearance in farmers markets of gourmet food shops, and all my gardening friends are starting to harvest the garlic they planted last fall.While all the tulip lovers are planting flower bulbs, garlic lovers are planting bulbs of tasty garlic. You can buy specialty garlic bulbs from garden centers or seed catalogs, or you can buy heads of garlic from the grocery store, and plant those- same thing. Like flower bulbs, they require the cold temps of winter to complete their life cycle, and in the spring, as the ground thaws and the air warms, bright green spires of deliciousness being to poke out from the ground.

As your garlic grows you will notice the green shoots start to curl and take on a very unusual look- those are the scapes, and they are just as delicious as the bulbs. Much milder in flavor than the bulbs, scapes are favored by cooks of all levels- blended into a tasty pesto, they are a refreshing change from the licorice-like flavor of basil. Pickled scapes are absolutely wonderful on relish trays, crudite platters, charcuterie boards, anywhere you might use a pickle. If you let some of the scapes grow a bit you will end up with a small cluster of bulbs at the end of the scape- like teeny tiny garlic cloves. Hang on to those guys and plants the in the spring and they will produce a garlic that looks a lot like a scallion, but with flavor in the same garlic family. So delicious!

One of my very favorite, as well as a lot of other peoples' favorite, is that classic recipe for Forty Cloves of Garlic Chicken. You might have seen versions of this roast chicken that is literally roasted with at least forty cloves of garlic. It might seem like a lot, but that garlic mellows into something really beautiful. After you remove the bird from the pan, scoop out most of the cloves, leaving several in the pan to smash and stir into the pan juices. You will not regret it. This chicken itself has the garlicky flavor roasted into it and it's so amazing. You'll soon realize why the dish is so popular. That being said, something you don't have that much garlic on hand, but you do have a cut up chicken......and that's where this dish was born. It's not quite forty cloves of garlic, and not quite that popular recipe but it's pretty darn close and easy to put together and get on the table in no time.

So how do I make it? It's easy, and I rely on a couple products I can no longer live without, Sinful Food Signature Seasoning and Garlic Olive Oil. Here is what I do. Get a chicken- either a package of cut up whole chicken, or whatever pieces you like, legs, wings, thighs, or if you know how, get a whole chicken and break it down yourself. This is often the most economical way to buy chicken and if you break it down like I do, you cut the breast halves in half crosswise so you have four pieces of breast. Trust me on this, they cook quicker and more along the same time as the other chicken pieces and they don't dry out. You absolutely MUST get skin on, bone in chicken for this dish. Boneless skinless breasts just won't cut it. Grab a baking dish, something along the lines of a 9x13 pan or similar size, and spray well with cooking spray. 

Season the chicken pieces liberally with the Signature Seasoning and some fines herbes. Penzey's has a great fines herbes, it's one of my favorites. Arrange the pieces in the dish and tuck a handful of peeled garlic cloves in and around the chicken pieces, and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of the garlic olive oil. Pop in a 375 degree oven and roast for an hour and thirty minutes, until the chicken is golden brown, and the skin is super crispy and chicken is cooked.

Serve the chicken with a fresh salad or green vegetable and lots of crusty bread for sopping up those delicious juices. This dish is awesome even on weeknights and it's super easy because......there is no recipe to follow!

You can get your Sinful Food Signature Seasoning and Garlic Olive Oil by clicking HERE.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." As a Brand Ambassador, the company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift or something of value. Regardless,  I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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