It's indecorous, I suppose, to refer to someone's site twice in one day, but since I have so little reputation left to protect, I'll just let you know that Carlos has posted his recipe for Garlic Soup on his blog. This, and one more undershirt will get us through the winter.
So it's settled... my house, tomorrow, 6 o'clock. Bring your own allium sativum. I have olive oil-probably in excess of the local legal limit, so slip in the back door if you would. No shouting, "Olive oillll" as you come up the drive.
I own exactly 12 soup bowls, and as many spoons, so first come, first serve. We'll build a fire. There is red wine somewhere in the house.
I was thinking as long as we are posting recipes, it seems fair that we offer something to those who still eat meat, no? It's another simple recipe, with garlic as the main character.
I suppose this is James Beard's recipe, but it came to me from Bug, the kind mother of Palmer, who lived upstairs from me for two years in college. Bug was a cook by affection, and Palmer was her only son. She worked for an airline. The fortunate collision of those three details meant that for the two years Palmer and I shared a house, Styrofoam boxes of food packed on dry ice arrived on a regular basis. Some mothers send cookies. Bug sent espresso mousse and Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. She also once sent white-on-white hand monnogrammed linen sheets and a 30 foot long windsock.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Just do to a whole chicken whatever your family does. Wash it, pat it dry, pray for it, whatever. I suppose you could tie the legs and tuck the wings under, but I have never enjoyed the sight of a small bird in bondage at the table.
Put it in a large pot which can be put in the oven. The pot must have a lid and you must be able to find the lid.
Chop one stalk of celery. Add to the pot. Two is not unreasonable.
Add a little salt, and pepper.
Peel 40 cloves of garlic. Not 40 heads, as my brother first did. 50 is reasonable if it's snowing or you're depressed or have a heart condition. Leave the extra in the kitchen if you suspect you have vampires.
Add water, one cup or so. More if your heart tells you to. A half cup of dry white wine is helpful (in the pot, you may drink as much as you like, of course).
Add a bit of fresh tarragon from the garden. If your herb garden is snowbound, you can use dried. This dish will not fail without tarragon. Nothing will. You could add parsley, rosemary, thyme--all those things. Or not. If you would like to kiss someone who's coming for dinner, add a whole bay leaf. Try to get this leaf into the dish of the person you wish to kiss. This will take work, but of course, a good kiss is worth working for. When they find the leaf, if you've trained your friends, they will say, "He who gets the leaf kisses the cook!" Try to look surprised.
This next step is important. Make a small ball of dough from flour and water. Roll a snake whose length is the circumference of the rim of the pot. Make a fat snake. Not like a cobra, more like a gardener. Now, put the lid on the pot and put the dough-snake where the lid and pot meet. This will seal in the moisture while baking. Cover the snake-seal with tin foil, all the way around. A single layer will do. It might work without this, but you will spend a half hour opening the pot. If you have children, make double dough and let them make snakes while you cook.
Cook this for about one and a half hours at 375 degrees. Cook rice or some like-minded grain while the chicken cooks.
Open the pot. Be mindful of steam. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes. I know this sounds silly--as if he's been working in that pot--but it helps.
Lift the chicken onto a plate. Celebrate his arrival with some garnish for colour. He will be pale. We're used to that in winter here, but if you're not, you can broil him.
Put the garlic in a several small bowls. It will be very soft and can be used, like butter, on bread. Use an earthy loaf, like baguette.
You can serve a small amount of the liquid in the pot with a bit of cooked rice or other grain. A little ladle full over each serving of chicken is nice, too.
This can be served with Grilled Radiccio, which does add drama, but since that usually means a trip to the store in winter, I say forget it. Have a fresh green. But if you must,
2 heads radicchio, quartered
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper