Chicken with Garlic (Pollo all’Aglio)
My pollo with garlic is light and fresh and quite garlicky, though not too much so. The garlic loses its strength through being cooked a long time in its skin, an unusual method in Italian cooking. It is then puréed and spread on bread, which is a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. For this recipe you can also use chicken thighs or drumsticks.
- 1 fresh free-range or organic roasting chicken about 1.5 kg (3 1/2 lb)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- sea salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
- 2 large garlic heads
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
- 45 g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 French bread stick, cut into slices 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick
- 3 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
Ask the butcher to cut the chicken into ten pieces: two wings, two drumsticks, two thighs, two pieces from each breast and two pieces from the back.
When you get home, remove and discard some of the loose fatty skin. Dry the chicken pieces with kitchen paper.
Heat the oil with the rosemary in a large sauté pan that can hold the chicken pieces in a single layer. When the oil is hot, slip in the pieces, skin side down, and sauté over a lively heat until brown. Turn the pieces over and brown the other side. Season with salt and pepper.
While the chicken is browning, remove the outer skin from the garlic heads, separate the cloves and add them unpeeled to the chicken. When the chicken pieces are nicely brown all over, splash with the wine and turn down the heat. Cook gently for 20 minutes, turning the pieces over two or three times during the cooking. Leave the pan uncovered so that the water that today’s chickens often contain can evaporate. However, if the liquid has all dried up, add a couple of tablespoons of hot water.
When the chicken is done, fish out the garlic and reserve. Transfer the chicken to a heated platter and spoon over the cooking juices. Cover with foil and keep warm.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) mark 6.
Peel the garlic cloves and purée them through a food mill, a chinois or in a food processor. Blend in the butter with a fork and spread the mixture on the bread. Place the bread on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
Sprinkle the chicken with the parsley and serve, surrounded by the garlicky toasts.