Vampires beware! You will be incinerated just by reading this post :-)
Anyone that doesn't love garlic will not like this dish. Which is a shame.. Cos the whole world needs to love garlic.
Garlic adds flavor, makes proteins get tender quick and it has health benefits. What's not to love? The smell on the knife and cutting board? Use lemon wedges and some salt afterwards on the utensils used to kill the smell. The smell on your breath? Brush your teeth, chew some minty gum, suck on some breath mints after. My lover won't kiss me after a garlicky meal? There is love in sharing including garlicky breath.
Now that all excuses are handled, on to this meal.
I stumbled on a recipe for 40 clove of garlic chicken a few years ago and I have seen variations of it since then. This is 20 clove version to ease people in gently. Here is something a lot of people don't know. When garlic is cooked in a particular way, the flavor becomes mild and it becomes sweet. One of these methods is to get whole bulbs of garlic, cut the tops off, smear with some oil and put in the oven in a dish and bake it till the garlic gets soft, gooey and brown. Squeeze out the garlic mush and use in marinades or tomato sauces. Amazing stuff happens. I will do a post on that some time.
Another way to get garlic mild and sweet is by using it whole like in this recipe.
I added a dash of cream at the end of cooking this sauce and I love how it ended up. Feel free to do without the cream. This sauce can be served with potatoes, plain rice or plain pasta.
To make enough for 4, you will need:
- 8 pieces of chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 20 cloves of peeled garlic
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons chicken stock or water
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
I like to use bone-in chicken pieces for most of my recipes because the results are almost always moist. Feel free to use the breast but watch cooking times because they can dry out very quickly
You can find Shaoxing cooking wine and light soy sauce at most well stocked stores
- Place the dry chicken pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle with the pepper, salt and flour and toss. Make sure all the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
- Get a large pan very hot over high heat and add the oil.
- When the oil gets very very hot, turn the heat down to low and add the chicken pieces. Brown both sides - about 15 minutes total cooking time
- Remove the chicken pieces and drain the pan completely of all the oil
- Return chicken to the pan and add the garlic
- Stir fry for about 3 minutes. Stir constantly so nothing burns
- Add the cooking wine, soy sauce and stock/water
- Cover and braise the chicken till it is tender. 20-30 minutes should do it depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Remember that the heat should be turned as low as possible
- Once the chicken is tender, turn the heat up and add the frozen vegetables. Stir and cover and cook for another 5 minutes
- Add the cream and stir and cook for another 5 minutes - just enough for the vegetables to be cooked through