I Have A Question About Garlic...

amck2October 3, 2012

Yesterday I made the Pot of Chicken w/ Lemon & Garlic dish that is pictured on the cover of Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table" cookbook. It's a family favorite, but it was the first time I made it for my parents.

The recipe calls for the cloves from 4 heads of garlic to be browned with vegetables which are then cooked in a Dutch oven (with a 4 lb. chicken nestled in them) for an hour. Wine, broth & herbs are poured over the chicken, making a yummy sauce.

The directions say to separate the cloves from the head of garlic, but NOT to peel them. It results in deliciously roasted little pods of garlic that you can squeeze onto accompanying bread slices with which you can sop up the sauce. The problem....it's hard to find all the garlic cloves and sometimes they blend in with shallots or onions and if you should swallow the papery cover, you feel like it might get caught in your throat.

So, my questions is, do you think it would work to somehow corral the garlic cloves in a cheesecloth packet that would cook with and flavor the vegetables, but would keep the garlic separate so the cloves could easily be removed? Are there any obvious flaws with this plan that I'm just not thinking of?

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Have you ever really swallowed an unpeeled clove of garlic, papery skin and all? I think it's a non issue, you notice that papery stuff in your mouth....even if I have left a little bit of skin on a clove and it gets into the pot...I know it if it gets in my mouth!
Save yourself the trouble!...tell people to watch for errant cloves of garlic....or sepearate out the very small cloves and just put in the big ones.
Linda c

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Yes, I did swallow one yesterday, which prompted my thought to attempt to keep them separate. The vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, shallots, pearl onions) and the garlic really do soften a lot and the garlic just seems to meld in, especially color-wise with onions & shallots.

I didn't realize till I felt it in my throat. It was like if you accidentally swallow a piece of the choke from an artichoke. I was able to discreetly drink water to help swallow it, but I was worried through the rest of dinner that it would happen to one of my elderly parents.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Just for fun, the next time you try the same recipe:

Use peeled garlic and put them in three or four cheese cloth packets and place them in different spots.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:29PM
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We love chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. One recipe says to use unpeeled cloves. I peel them all anyway. They meld so nicely with the chicken and the potatoes. Just heaven.

I'd peel them.

Your recipe sounds good. Will you post it, or the link?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:39PM
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dcarch & jasdip, I think the next time I make the dish I'll try a hybrid of your suggestions. It's a treat to have the unpeeled garlic cloves to spread on bread, so I'll separate the 4 garlic heads and put 1/4 of the cloves (the largest ones) in a cheese cloth packet. Then I'll peel the cloves from the other 3 & keep those in with the vegetables. Hope it results in the best of both worlds.

jasdip, can't do it tonight, but I will post the recipe.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:41PM
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I'd probably string the smaller cloves on toothpicks, since I think the big ones are pretty easy to spot. Some people might think toothpicks a problem but I think they'd work fine. Maybe just two per toothpick. One on each end of the toothpicks, pierced into the stem end of the cloves.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Put peeled garlic in the dish, roast unpeeled cloves on the side to squeeze out later.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:50AM
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