Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I messed up. Or maybe not. --Bistro Chicken and Garlic

Bistro Chicken and Garlic
The Sonoma Diet Cookbook Copyright

1 bulb garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine I used white wine


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Separate cloves of garlic, discarding small papery cloves in center. Trim off stem end of each garlic clove, but do not peel. (This will facilitate squeezing garlic from peel after it is cooked.)

2. In a large ovenproof skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves and chicken. Cook about 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, turning chicken and stirring garlic cloves once. Sprinkle chicken with basil, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt, and pepper; transfer skillet the oven. Bake, covered, for 12 to 15 minute or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170°F) and garlic is tender. My chicken was thin so I didn't cook this as long.

3. Using a slotted spatula, transfer chicken to a serving platter, reserving juices in skillet; cover and keep warm. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl; set aside for 1 to 2 minutes to cool slightly.

4. Add vermouth or white wine to skillet. Squeeze softened garlic from skins into skillet; discard skins. On rangetop, bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat . Boil gently, uncovered, about 6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Pour garlic sauce over chicken. If desired, garnish with herb sprigs.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 185 cal, 5g fat, 66mg chol, 197mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 27g protein

This didn't turn out exactly as I expected. There was no picture in the cookbook so I'm not really sure what the finished product was supposed to look like. I think the garlic should have softened into mush, as roasted garlic usually does, but I couldn't risk drying out my chicken so I took this out of the oven when the garlic was softened yet not quite at the mush stage. It was still very mellow and sweet. I just sort of smashed it up in the wine, which pretty much evaporated and left me with a topping of smooshed up garlic to put on the chicken. Was it supposed to be a sauce? I was ready to file this in the disappointment file but it was really good.

This was very simple, as I find many of the recipes that go along with some of the latest diet trends. Simple in a good way. If you have some nice chicken breasts, you really don't need to gussy them up too much.

I've been having a heck of a time tracking down garlic. The grocery store had a basket of sprouted garlic, and most of the heads weren't even together anymore. I mean, it's been an ongoing problem, getting decent garlic, but this was the worst I've seen. I ended up picking up a bag of garlic in Costco which wasn't too bad - the cloves seem to be smaller than what I'm used to but at least so far I haven't seen any of it sprouting. I figure even if I only use a portion of that bag of garlic, I'll get my money's worth out of it.

This is one of my newest cookbooks. The recipes are a bit fancy yet not complicated. I haven't really studied it fully yet so there isn't much more I can say about it right now but so far, so good.

Blast From The Past: Spicy Vegetable Quesadillas from September 2006. I almost forgot about those. I really liked them and I need to make them again soon, adding some jalapeƱos from my freezer stash. I haven't grilled quesadillas in quite a while.

Question of the Day: Have you had any trouble finding healthy garlic in your local stores?


Red Dirt Mummy said...

Hah! I have trouble finding good fresh anything in my local stores! Some weeks the stuff that has arrived on the truck from well over 1600km's away seems quite good but other weeks it is woeful.

Annie said...

Sometimes yes. But the garlic has been ok at my market. On occasion I find sproats after I've had them for a few days to a week though, which means they weren't the freshest when I bought them.

DancesInGarden said...

It comes and goes. We went through a period where I couldn't get fresh garlic, lettuce, or onions ANYWHERE. I remember thinking, what odd things to run out of.