7/10/08

Care for a wafer-thin mint ... please?

Vampires won't stand a chance with this offering. Lemon Garlic Chicken is a dish I've been making for quite a few years -and just between us- I often sneak in a few extra garlic cloves.

"Uhh, twenty five garlic cloves isn't enough already, dear?" argues a meddling little voice inside my head.

But then, there's that other voice that shouts louder, jumping up and down in agitation, and making a real nuisance of itself:
"Oh puhleeze! Twenty-five garlic cloves is for amateurs. C'mon, it's you and me babe. Let's stink together!"

Naturally, the loudest voice always wins.



I especially love the garlic in this dish because roasting them in the olive oil and fresh herbs makes them delightfully flavorful and far less pungent. Even my ultra-finicky son once said: "Mom, this is good - I think you're a 'musician' (magician)." Well, at least, the boy knows what he likes.

This dish will make you sing, and recipients will pay obeisance to you, the chef. And yes, you may have to lay low from the rest of the world for a couple of days, but trust me, it's a small price to pay.

By the way, I recommend the use of fresh herbs in this dish -if you have access to them- and use a combination of your favorites. This is one of those dishes that encourages latitude in cooking, so don't be afraid to be creative and enjoy.



Lemon Garlic Chicken

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, sweet basil and/or oregano
S & P to taste
1 3½ pound fryer chicken, cut up
25 garlic cloves
¾ cup chicken broth

In a small bowl, stir to combine, the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, ¼ cup of the herbs, and salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting pan, and pour the lemon-herb mixture over. Arrange the garlic cloves all around the chicken, stirring them to coat with the mixture. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are golden brown.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Add the broth to the pan and place on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, while smooshing the soft, roasted garlic with a fork to thicken the sauce. I like to transfer the chicken to a platter, pour the sauce over the chicken and then, garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of herbs and lemon wedges.