When this meal hit the table Hubbard said it was one of the best I had cooked all year. My friend, Dixon, loaned me “Simple French Food” by Richard Olney. This is the only recipe I have tried from the book. But, it’s already on my Christmas wish list. Of course, I changed the recipe a little… only a little.
20-25 large garlic cloves, peeled without crushing, parboiled for 5 minutes and drained
2 1/2 cups chicken or veal stock (oh, yeah. i’ve got tons of veal stock around. not.)
4 chicken legs (I’m assuming the leg includes the thigh here. I didn’t have legs. I had six large thighs and used that.)
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, peeled (all white inner peel removed), thinly sliced, seeds removed
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 dry white wine
After you parboil the garlic cloves, you poach them in the stock for 40 minutes, just at a simmer, covered. Meanwhile, salt and pepper the chicken and brown it for 20-25 minutes in the butter.
Set the browned chicken in the casserole dish. Take the garlic cloves out of the broth (straining is the easiest way) reserving the broth. Put the cloves and the lemon slices in the pan with the chicken. My lemon was a little small. So, I squeezed in the juice of another small lemon.
Pour off most of the fat in the browning pan, leaving enough to absorb the 2 tablespoons of flour that you’re going to add. Cook the flour and grease for a few minutes to take away the raw flour flavor. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Then, start adding the broth, whisking to combine.
At this point the recipe calls for putting the sauce in a small saucepan to heat and skim off the fat. I really didn’t have much fat in the sauce and figured once it cooked with the chicken there would be plenty. So, I heated it to be sure the flour was incorporated and then poured it over the chicken. Cook the casserole, covered, at 375-400 degrees for 45 minutes. I chose 385 degrees.
When the chicken was done, I poured the sauce into a small saucepan and simmered to bring the fat to the top and thicken the sauce a little. Skimmed off the fat. Added a little salt and white pepper. Fantastic flavor.
We had our chicken with mashed potatoes. Plate a couple of pieces of chicken with garlic cloves. The garlic with be completely creamy. It becomes something totally different from what you started with. Spoon some of the sauce over everything. Amazing, really. And very easy.