Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

I took pictures of my attempt to make the New Best Recipe version of this classic dish, but none of them really turned out... the lighting was bad and it just isn't a very aesthetically exciting dish. It's braised chicken, roasted garlic, and some gravy... tasty, but not something a picture is going to do a whole lot of justice. The recipe here looks identical to the one I used (and her picture of the dish is good), so I don't have to transcribe it or send you to a gated pay site... which is nice.

The biggest problem I had was that my sauce came out too salty. Cook's made mention of the fact that they had to cut back the amount of salt in their brine to keep the sauce from being too salty... a complaint Harold McGee has in general about brining... and I sort of have to wonder whether brining is really necessary when you're braising the chicken anyway. Regardless, the bigger problem was likely that I left the chicken in the brine for over an hour (30 minutes suggested) as I was slow to get things going. In addition, I seasoned the sauce without tasting first... simply assuming it was going to need salt... while at the same time, I only had salted butter to thicken it (margarine was available though). So several errors snowballing into one there.

Other than the salt, the sauce was quite tasty and the chicken perfectly moist. You'll definitely want some crusty bread or toast to spread all that wonderful roast garlic on. It was good, but I'm not sure I'd make it again... if I do, I'll probably go for Bittman's version where the Asian flavors are pretty intriuging and probably more appealing to the modern palate.