Date Night In

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.

roasted garlic

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.

Bonny Doon Verjus

free range chicken broth

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.

garlic gravy

The chicken was moist and perfect. I only wished I had browned it before baking it.

garlicky chicken

I thought that my veggie side was too simple to post, but it was so good, so why not?

Brussels sprouts

I cut a bunch of Brussels sprouts in half and sliced an onion into rings.

Brussels sprouts and onions

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.

cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

The onions and butter added so much flavor. It was pretty amazing for a bunch of veggies Smile.

We served up our dinner with the new Sam Adams’ Infinium.

Sam Adams Infinium 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. Smile

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Tags: Bonny Doon Vineyards, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chicken, cooking, cooking at home, date night, Food, garlic, gravy, recipe, Sam Adams Infinium, vegetables, Verjus

  1. Megan’s avatar

    Can I come over? That sounds like the perfect evening to me. I love simply sauteed veggies and the garlicky chicken sounds wonderful.

    Love Actually and It’s A Wonderful Life are my favorite Christmas movies too. Then throw in a little Elf for laughs. :)


  2. Michelle’s avatar

    Sunday night’s dinner looks so good – both healthy and hearty! Love Actually is one of my favorite holiday movies!


  3. Justin’s avatar

    Looks delicious. I just bought a bottle of the Infinium too, but haven’t had the occasion to drink it yet.


  4. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Ooh I want to try Infinium! The roasted garlic with the pat of butter is quite a happy sight.


  5. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Looks like a cozy night in! Though it’s completely goofy, my favorite Christmas movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Love Actually and Elf are right up there, too. :)


  6. Daisy’s avatar

    A new beer! sounds delightful, can’t wait to try it.


  7. Heather’s avatar

    I love a relaxing evening in. Plus your place must have smelled wonderful – roasted garlic!

    My favorite holiday movie is Christmas Vacation. I could watch that movie over and over again!


  8. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    That is an amazing meal. Not that difficult either. I hope you had a great date ;)


  9. Emily’s avatar

    Love Actually is the best (can you believe they are now charging extra for it On Demand?!) This meal looks cozy and satisfying… plus, I love anything with tons of garlic!


  10. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

    How are your date nights in different from just dinner? I feel like I have to make something a lot more indulgent if I call it a date. Do you?
    I had 40 clove chicken for the first time this past weekend in NY and it was fantastic. Your versions sounds delicious. I’m going to have to try that. LOVE garlic!! :)
    Oh – I just watched Elf for the first time this year and really loved it. I think I’ve seen Love Actually as well… can’t remember if it’s good. I bet I liked it. :)


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      For one, date nights involve eating together :), while lots of regular nights do not since Eric works so much! The meal doesn’t have to be super indulgent, but something we cook together and eat not in front of our computers which, again, is a huge rarity! I have to try making 40 clove chicken from a recipe, I was really just winging it!


    2. Katie’s avatar

      Oh fun! I’ve wanted to try Infinium. Good to know you liked it!


    3. Susan’s avatar

      That looks delicious! I love stay in date nights. And Love Actually makes the top of my list too.


    4. Sues’s avatar

      This sounds absolutely delicious. And totally makes me miss my dad’s 40-clove chicken that I haven’t had in a couple years. Nothing better than tons of roasted garlic and staying inside and cozy :)


    5. alicia’s avatar

      great post. I love Love Actually and Home Alone during the holiday season!


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