I love to cook. There are few feelings better than plugging the iPod into my kitchen speaker rig, pulling out ingredients, and peeling that first garlic clove. Even better when I don’t have to worry about making up a recipe or following along in some book. Just the food, counter, pots and pans. And music.
This past Sunday was pretty hectic for me. There’s just a lot to do to get ready for the week. Luckily, I’ve got an excellent go-to recipe that’s easy to make, absolutely delicious, and doesn’t require a bit of thinking on my part. It’s a garlic chicken recipe from Tapas by Susanna Tee, a great little book I picked up on sale.
Note: the ingredients have been reduced from the original version to more aptly feed four, not eight
- 4 – 6 chicken thighs, skin on, boned and cut into bite-sized pieces (The thighs are easier to bone and cut if they’re fresh from the refrigerator)
- 5 or 6 (or more) cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup of dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbl. finely chopped parsley
- 1 table spoon of olive oil
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Toss in the garlic and let cook for about a minute, or until it just begins to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a cooling rack or paper towels. Place the chicken in the pan (skin-side down, for those pieces that have it) and let it cook for about six minutes on one side. Then turn the pieces and let them cook for another four to five minutes. You want to make sure you give it plenty of time to brown nicely on each side. Don’t go flipping them every minute! After the chicken has had time to brown, add the bay leaf and the wine. Bring it up to a boil and then reduce to simmer for another 10 minutes. After five minutes, dust with paprika and sprinkle with salt. When it’s finished, remove from the pan, plate, and place the sliced garlic cloves here and there around. Toss on the parsley and serve with some good, crusty bread.
What to pair it with?
The succulent nature of this dish and the somewhat heavy flavor of the chicken skin and garlic call for a well-structured wine with good tannins. Espelt Wineries’ 2005 Sauló (an organic wine made from garnacha and carinena varietasl) is a shining example of just such a wine.
Color: Deep, opaque red fading to violet at the edges.
Nose: Spice—definitely a Spanish wine. Heavy, with deep berry, vanilla and a hint of roasted coffee. A very nice complexity
Palate: Rich flavor and excellent structure. Strong tannins finish with a surprisingly supple mouth feel.
Finish: An absolute clean sweep that perfectly prepares your mouth for another mouthful.