Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

A paleo kitchen doesn't have to been limited to paleo cookbooks or websites.  I found this recipe for Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce form Simply Recipes and decided I had to give it a try.  It's not labeled paleo, but I didn't have to change or omit a single ingredient for it to be 100% paleo (assuming you don't have issues with cooking with wine).  

I gathered my ingredients.

My first step was to cut up my chicken.  The idea of saving money on a whole chicken and cutting it up myself made this recipe appealing to me.  The recipe says eight parts: 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks.  I didn't consult any resources before doing this and maybe could have had a "prettier" result if I did, but its cutting up a chicken, not rocket science.  If you want a resource, Martha Stewart has some nice instructions here.

I started by cutting out the back of my chicken with my trusty kitchen shears.  I froze the back to use in my next batch of broth.

For some reason the next logical step for me seemed to be removing the thighs/legs with my knife and cut the thigh away from the drumstick at the joint with my knife.  

I split the breast  and finally removed the wings from the breast.  

Is this the best way or the right way to cut up a chicken?  Probably not, but I just wanted to show that its not hard to do even if you have no clue what the "right" way is.  
Success! 8 pieces of chicken!
Next, I prepared my garlic.  Why I didn't buy pre-peeled garlic I do not know.  This took forever. The recipe says you can leave the paper on the garlic, but I was concerned how that would turn out texture wise.  No one wants to pick pieces of garlic paper out of their teeth.  I used two and a half heads of garlic to get the 30 cloves called for by the recipe.  

Next, I heated the olive oil in my Le Creuset braising dish.  

Once the oil was hot, I started browning the chicken pieces.  I was hoping it would all fit in one batch, but alas, I had to do two.  The oil will splatter, so be careful.  

While the chicken was browning, I measured out the wine.  The recipe calls for a Sauvignon Blanc, so that's what I used.

When the batches of chicken had completed browning, I moved them to a bowl.   I had plenty of oil/chicken grease still in the pan to saute the garlic.  

After adding the wine to the garlic, I added the fresh tarragon and dried thyme.  When I went to the grocery store for the ingredients, it was out of fresh thyme.  I used 2 teaspoons dried thyme instead of the 3 sprigs fresh

I then put the chicken pieces back into the pan.  I turned the heat down to medium low.  Here it is ready to simmer.

The instructions say to check on the chicken and move the pieces from "the top to the bottom of the pan" every 5 minutes.  I have no idea what that means exactly.  That reads to me as doing something that can be achieved by just turning the entire pan on the burner.  I decided that I'd just flip the chicken and move the pieces around.  I only did this once and not every 5 minutes.    

After 20 minutes, I used my instant read thermometer on one of the breasts and it was at 165 degrees.  I added 5 more minutes to the timer.  After that five minutes, I checked the temperature again, and it was ready.  

Here is my plate.  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients: You should be able to find everything you need for this recipe at your "big box" grocery store.  I was shopping at Sprouts the day I made this recipe and they were out of fresh thyme, but that was alright as dried worked out just fine.

Preparation & Cooking Time:  The grand total preparation time was 32 minutes.  Here is how that broke down.  It took me 10 minutes to peel the garlic.  Next time I will buy pre-peeled and save this time.  It took me 5 minutes to cut up the chicken.  Browning the chicken took 17 minutes (2 batches-each side).   The chicken simmered for a total of 25 minutes.  Total preparation and cooking time:  57 minutes.

Clean Up:  After browning the chicken in oil, my stove was a bit of a mess.  I put everything except my knife and braising pot into the dishwasher.

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  This chicken was scrumptious!  Of course, there is a prominent garlic flavor but the wine also shines through.  The absolute best thing is that even the breast meat was juicy!  The dish is easy to throw together (and will be even easier when I use pre-peeled garlic next time).  I wished I had made cauliflower mash so that I could have used more of the sauce.  I can't attest to whether it will freeze well or not as all of it was eaten within days! 

If you've got a taste for chicken, give this recipe a try.