Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Memorial Day weekend I went up to Lake Summit in the NC mountains with my friend. She and I cooked a fine Sunday lunch that included this recipe from a cookbook that I found in her mom's kitchen called The Junior League at Home. I am not so much a Junior League kind of girl, but those women can cook, especially the Southern ones! Their recipes are tried and tested and usually fairly easy because who really wants to slave in the kitchen all night after a day of tennis? OK that was a cheap shot. But seriously when I want a recipe for coconut cake or pound cake or champagne punch who do I call? My Junior League friends. They are very experienced hostesses.

This recipe is an easy, one-dish wonder. Serve it with a salad and lots of baguette. The cooked garlic squeezes nicely out of its papery skin and is wonderful smushed onto a slice of bread or a bite of the chicken.

1 chicken cut into pieces
40 cloves of garlic (about 5 bulbs), separate the cloves but don't bother peeling
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. vermouth (or more white wine)
1/4 c. olive oil
4 celery stalks cut into inch pieces
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried basil
6 springs parsley chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put chicken skin side up in a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle all ingredients over chicken. Bake covered w/ foil for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until chicken has browned and the juices run clear.

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