January 10, 2006

All hail l’ail.

Looks can be deceiving. Dinner tonight did not resemble the masterpiece (ahem, airbrushed) photographed in my cookbook. But despite its more humble appearance, the Roasted Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic was sumptuous. I should have browned the chicken longer for a more rich color; however, it was cooked perfectly and fell off the bone into a pool of garlic and wine sauce. In a word: ‘Yum’.

Departing from the more Italian flavors of late, my palate welcomed the abundance of garlic. Here’s a juicy tidbit: Italians do not typically use garlic. I have it on a very reliable source that a true Italian, upon entering a restaurant and smelling garlic, will turn around in search of more authentic fare. Not true for their neighbors en France.

Paired with a Moroccan Couscous, the meal was more than I had hoped for. The couscous was filled with roasted zucchini, carrots, onions and butternut squash. Steeped in chicken broth infused with saffron and cumin the ordinary grains took on an earthy flavor that blended delightfully with the salty-sweet punch of the garlic. I thought about adding a handful of golden raisins and using fewer scallions than the recipe called for. In hindsight I would have followed my instinct. The onions were a bit too strong and a small burst of raisins would have been divine. Always follow instinct.

The children loved the drumsticks. The littles even helped us polish off our breasts and wings. The couscous was met with less fan-fare by the kids. Again, I think the softness of the raisins would have been more palatable for all. However, I loved the couscous and think I’ll add some crumbled goat cheese to it for a cold lunch tomorrow.

So no sleep is lost, 40 cloves is generally three heads of garlic.

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