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September 28, 2008

Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic, Served with Sage Papparadelle

I was asked to do a recipe for a garlic contest at KTEH. Here is the recipe passed on to me when I was in the 6th Grade, by a very dear friend, Karen Bryant. She was one of the mom's in the neighborhood. She died when I was just out of college, but when I make this I think of her.

The sage noodles came later, when I was experimenting with some fresh pasta, wanting to jazz it up. The cool think about it is you don't really have to make the pasta, though it's great if you do. You just need a pasta roller, fresh pasta, and cleaned fresh herbs, rolled between two sheets of the pasta. It turns out like Japanese paper and is gorgeous with a delicate flavor to put behind the chicken and garlic mixture.


Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic with Sage Noodles

4 small or 3 large whole heads garlic, about 40+ cloves, broken into cloves
2 chicken breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, about 2.5 pounds -- preferably air chilled for better flavor, with bones and skin but trimmed of fat
(recommend you get a whole organic air chilled chicken, have it cut up by the butcher, and then take the neck and back to make broth for another use)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac
1 1/2 to 2 cups dry white wine
4-5 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh sage well chopped
4-5 bay leaves (dried or fresh)

1 lb Fresh pasta if you have it, or 12 oz dry pasta if you don't

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot (with a lid that can go in the oven) or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Boil water in a 3-4 quart pot. Separate cloves of garlic and once the water is boiling, drop them into water for 60 seconds. Drain and cool the garlic. Then peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels if wet (air chilled doesn't require this). Pat each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. This is the only time you'll add Salt and Pepper, so its okay to add a fair amount.

In batches, saute the chicken in the butter and oil until nicely browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula so as not to pierce with a fork. If the oil/butter is burning, reduce heat to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate. Once pan is empty except for the oil/butter, add the garlic cloves to the pan. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned but not at all dark (which will cause the garlic to get bitter). Add the Cognac and the wine. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme, sage and add the bay leaves leaves. Cover and put into a 350 degree F oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Chicken should be slightly loose from the skin.

In the meantime, boil either fresh pasta for 1.5 minutes or dry pasta according to directions. Drain and arrange on a platter. Place the finished piece of chicken on top, and spoon liquid and garlic cloves, herbs and bay leaves. Serves 4-6 depending on appetite.

Pasta method:
If you wish to make it fresh, make according to your favorite recipe. Then roll out two thin sheets (#5 on pasta machine hand roller). Place the first sheet down on flat surface, place sage with stems removed on layer, and then place the top layer. Stems will tear it, so you should cut these out. You can also use any other herbs. Then, using a hand crank pasta machine, carefully roll out the two layers, starting back at #3, and moving to #6 setting. The herbs will spread out through the pasta a bit like Japanese paper. Then, take a pizza wheel and cut sideways into 1.5 inch strips. Dust with flour and reserve until ready to cook.