Friday, February 28, 2014

Poulet aux 40 Gousses d'Ail

Poulet aux 40 Gousses d'Ail 

(Roast Chicken with 40 cloves of Garlic)

 One of the big challenges I face when arranging for a special meal is narrowing down the options for the menu and even if you do decide on the menu the ocean of recipes in this galaxy of the internet is sure to confuse you. So the four banditas were meeting again and I was arranging a dinner party and for me deciding on the menu within a day is quite challenging so after much thinking, clicking, typing I decided Roast Chicken it was going to be but then which one ?

Lets talk a bit about obsession. I believe that we all have certain obsessions which we happily indulge in. My first obsession is of course white crockery and white linen and the second is making everything from scratch in my kitchen (as much as possible) and trying to search for by-gone recipes of a particular region of the world. Sure many a  times you need to alter or chuck out a few ingredients due to geography , unavailability etc but the pleasure of hunting it down is something which I find extremely satisfying. With Google translator things are much more easy. A certain image of a roast chicken caught my attention and it turned out this was the roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. Now I love my garlic and the simplicity of the roast attracted me instantaneously. Now that is the truth about French food. Everything feels its gourmet and difficult when in reality  it is simple elegant and delicious. Originally from the Lomagne region this one is a winner in my kitchen. Of course there were plenty of recipes differing a little bit from each other and I chose one which suited the ingredients available for me.

Now when you begin do remember that no matter what you use and what you don't the ingredients must , must , must be fresh.

Serves 6

1.7 kilogram Whole chicken (with the skin on of course)
40 large unpeeled cloves of garlic
2 stalks of rosemary
1 stalk of parsley
A handful of Thyme with the stalk
Salt and pepper
60 gm to 80 gm unsalted butter
1 medium sized lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock . Here is a recipe for Chicken stock

Now roasting a chicken is the easiest thing in the world but for moist crispy chicken here are a few tips which perhaps you might really find useful. Tips for roasting

So once you have cleaned , dried , seasoned and massaged  let it rest for 1 hour or 2 hours, then prick the lemon with a fork all over and place in the microwave for 40 seconds at high heat (this ensures the chicken gets the full flavour) and put it in the chicken's cavity with the rest of the herbs  tie the legs and then preheat your oven to 180C and grease your baking pan well Place the chicken on the tray and splash half the wine  and then scatter the cloves of garlic all around and pour the chicken stock roast for 1 hour 50 minutes if using the convection oven or 1 hour 30 minutes for regular ovens. Do not forget to bast (in this case you can use the wine in one of your basting) and for the rest of the basting use the liquid from the roasting pan  and cover it in the last 15 minutes. You know its well roasted when you pierce the legs and the juices run clear.

Let it rest wrapped in the kitchen towel once done for 10 minutes and in the meantime peel the garlic and make a smooth paste with a bit of liquid from the pan. This is a topping for bread. Use the liquid as a fantastic gravy. My guests kept licking their lips and fingers. When serving the chicken take out the herbs and lemon from inside the chicken.

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