Brrrr. . . it is officially winter and my favorite time of year for staying in and cooking for cozy at-home dinner dates. My plan for Sunday night was to make 40 garlic clove chicken, but the recipe sort of evolved as I was cooking.
I started with a large head of garlic, wrapping it in foil and putting it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. I always go by the smell; once the smell of roasted garlic starts to come through, I shut off the oven and leave the garlic in to cook in the still-warm oven.
Once the garlic was roasted, I let it cool, set aside three cloves, and squeezed the rest into a bowl. I topped it with a pat of butter, salt, and pepper, and used the back of a spoon to mush it all together.
Instead of making a whole chicken, I used four chicken breasts which I placed in a glass baking dish, then rubbed with the garlicky butter. I then topped them with a mixture of 1/2 cup Bonny Doon Vineyards Verjus and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Verjus is Bonny Doon’s non-alcoholic wine, and it is just perfect for sauces.
In addition to the sauce for the chicken, I needed gravy. Why is gravy so good? I started with a roux made from butter and all purpose flour. I let it get a golden brown before adding a cup of Verjus and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, a shake of salt, and a generous grind of pepper. I also added a few of the roasted garlic cloves, mashing them into the gravy so that the garlic was almost dissolved into the gravy.
The gravy goodness bubbled away on the stove while I checked on the chicken and tackled the veggies.
The chicken was moist and perfect. I only wished I had browned it before baking it.
I thought that my veggie side was too simple to post, but it was so good, so why not?
I cut a bunch of Brussels sprouts in half and sliced an onion into rings.
I added the onions to a little bit of olive oil and butter and let them cook until almost brown then added the Brussels sprouts and chopped cauliflower.
The onions and butter added so much flavor. It was pretty amazing for a bunch of veggies .
We served up our dinner with the new Sam Adams’ Infinium.
Sam Adams’ website shares a bit about this very special beer:
A groundbreaking brew, made with only the four traditional ingredients: malted barley, hops, water and yeast, Infinium™ is a crisp champagne-like beer with fine bubbles and a fruity, spicy aroma. The crisp clean malt character and delicate fruit notes in this beer are complemented by a slight citrus flavor from dry hopping with Bavarian Noble hops. Bottle conditioning adds another layer of complexity and light spice notes.
We really liked this beer. It definitely has a nice crispness to it and the feel of a festive-occasion drink. Hopefully Infinium will stick around for awhile!
It was a perfect Sunday meal and ended up being really quick because I used the chicken breasts. Which gave me time to watch Love Actually while relaxing in my comfy bed. I rarely just do nothing, and this was a nice way to spend an afternoon!
What is your favorite holiday movie? I love Love Actually and It’s a Wonderful Life for Christmas and The Worst Witch at Halloween.