Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I'd been eying this recipe for the longest time.  I've read many variations of it... from the so-called Engagement Chicken in the cookbook "100 Recipes a Woman Should Know", to Julia Child's, to a million others on the internet.  But, the price of garlic dissuaded me again and again.  Especially when its price tripled a couple of months ago!

But for now the price of garlic has returned to normal, more or less.  And, for once, the pantry had a lot of garlic, more than usual.  And I was actually fearful that it would start sprouting!

Then, at the last minute, BFF was coming over for a visit, so it was the perfect time for this recipe.  She actually requested lemongrass roast chicken but...  I wanted to (finally) make this chicken with 40 cloves (that's about 4 heads) of garlic! 

Anyway, in the end I decided to adapt Alton Brown's recipe, since it looked simple and fast!  But I "personalized" it.  Here is what I did -

1 to 1.2 kilos chicken thighs (about 7 to 8 pieces)
40 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
2/3 cup canola and grapeseed oil mix
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves off the stem and coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
juice from 1/2 sweet orange, 1 small lemon and 1 lime (or big calamansi)

Clean the chicken thighs (remove fats and excess skin, etc.).  Rinse, drain and pat dry.  Set aside for a while.

Combine oil and garlic; gently heat until garlic smells fragrant.  This will take just a couple of minutes.  Let the oil cool to almost room temperature.  Meanwhile, mix together rosemary, salt and pepper.

Arrange chicken pieces in a baking tray (I used a disposable aluminum one).  Pour garlic oil all over and (use your fingers) to coat the chicken with the oil.  Rub the chicken with the rosemary-salt-pepper mix (get some in between the skin and meat too!)  Arrange chicken skin side up and drizzle the citrus juices all over.

Bake at 375F for about 45 to 55 minutes or until skin is browned and crisped.

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