Sunday, March 27, 2005

paula peck's garlic and chicken stew

when i first made this it was an unmitigated disaster. that was 15 years ago and i think i was sleep deprived? an unfocused beginner?
i saved the recipe because i had a feeling it was worth keeping.
despite the large number of garlic it is very mild tasting with a faintly sweetish undertone from the tarragon. even #1son (mr. "chicken again?") loved it. so there.

served with thin spaghetti tossed with olive oil infused with garlic and chopped red long pepper.

this is for 8-9 chicken thighs, or 5 chicken leg quarters,split.
preheat oven to 375F. in a pot with a tight-fitting oven-proof lid (e.g. a dutch oven), pour 3 tbsps. of olive oil.
peel 40 cloves of garlic, from about 2 heads.
combine 1 tbsp. of kosher or sea salt, 1 tsp. of monosodium glutamate (omit if you abhor it, increase salt), 1 tsp. of ground white pepper, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and a DASH of allspice.
mix 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves and 3 sprigs fresh tarragon,stems removed, leaves finely chopped. (or use dried tarragon and mix into dry seasonings above).
put 1/3 of garlic cloves on olive oil, layer 3-4 chicken thighs, sprinkle 1/3 of salt and pepper and spice mixture all over, and finally sprinkle 1/3 of celery leaves and tarragon all over. repeat two times. pour 1 & 1/2 cups of dry white wine, put the lid on and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (15 years ago i put the pot in the oven without the white wine...yikes.)
the chicken will be almost meltingly soft but not crispy skinned. the garlic is good for smashing and spreading on toasted baguette slices.