Achieving Quality through Quantity

As I mentioned in my last post, I am attempting to use my cookbooks on a more regular basis. With the collection I have, I should be able to scrounge up a recipe or two per occasion. My dad’s visit to Boston this past weekend prompted such an event, and the neighbors were (as usual) on the guest list as well. You’ve heard me worship Ina Garten and her inspiring creations, so this next fabulous recipe (from her book Barefoot in Paris) should come as no surprise: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic.Putting aside the fact that this is an Ina Garten recipe, I have always wanted to give this specific dish a try. I love garlic, and the thought of putting FORTY into one dish was too intriguing an offer to resist. A traditional French “comfort food,” this dish climbed its way up the culinary ranks due to its rich, complex flavor. There are many ways to make this dish, though the best recipes agree on the basic following: a good white wine, bone-in chicken parts with skin, and (of course) 40 entire cloves of garlic.
Though Julia Childs was a catalyst behind the American popularity of this dish, I was drawn to Ina’s. It’s a little bit more complicated than the original, but had multiple flavor notes I found intriguing (including the thyme, my favorite herb, and touch of Cognac). I omitted the heavy cream, and it was still utterly rich – click HERE to learn how to make this flavorful entree today! I also made a delicious side of Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale as a healthy afterthought – find that recipe HERE.
For the pairing, I wanted a piece that explored the layers of taste this meal achieved. It was the suggestion of Albert Oppenheimer that made for the perfect pairing: Spem in alium, a 16th-century motet by English composer Thomas Tallis with FORTY vocal lines! The work is divided into eight choirs, each with five parts, and gradually unfolds from a single voice into a magnificent assemblage of all forty parts. In addition to the literal connection of forty parts with forty cloves, the name of the motet is also complementary: while the title is Latin for “Hope in any other,” the Latin term for garlic just happens to be “allium” (see why this piece is a perfect match?). This recording is by the Taverner consort and choir – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c6UYHbNYuA

Sources Cited:
“Spem in alium,” Wikipedia.com

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