Garlic Roasted Chicken of Goodness

So.  Recently, I decided to actually create meal plans for us, in an attempt to keep grocery costs down and prevent the dreaded “what do you want to eat, I don’t care what do YOU want to eat” conversation that spins round and round until one of us is thinking that they would eat the other one’s HEAD if only to get them to produce a damn answer already.

My attempts at meal planning started with my getting BD to promise that he wouldn’t fall over onto the floor in convulsions if what I was planning to cook sounded the least bit sketchy to him (see: the polenta debacle and turkey lasagnagate.)  The problem is, he would be happy eating the same five recipes (cooked the way his mom cooked) over and over and over until he died, where as I want to experiment and try new things, or old recipes with different/fresher/better ingredients.  Which frankly sounds like a Communist plot to my dear husband, so compromise was required.  Building on the basic rule we established when I began cooking for him (vegetables MUST be either ground to paste or in such big chunks he can pick them out) it has been decided that as long as I follow that rule AND make at least one recipe he likes each week, I’m free to wallow in my cookbooks to my heart’s content.

And so, inspired by this post over at Food Lush, I began January’s meal calendar using Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast, although I definitely played fast and loose with the following recipe, so I’d say it was more inspired by Great Food Fast than anything else.  The fact remains, that although I can STILL taste garlic, it was awesome, and I am absolutely going to make it again.

Garlic Roasted Chicken Breast (vaguely inspired by Martha Stewart)

2 large skinless chicken breasts

4 garlic bulbs

2 c. chicken stock

olive oil

dried Italian seasoning (I have a mix, but it has basil, oregano, sage, thyme and such included, if you’re interested…)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Begin by cutting the very top sprouty thing off the garlic bulbs, then whacking the top third slap off.  (Removing the sprouty top first makes it easier to turn upside down…and if you do it after you cut the top off, all the little garlic bits will *spoit* out of the skin.)  Turn tops upside down and place in the middle of a ovenproof skillet (cast iron is great here!)  Lay both chicken breasts out so they cover the garlic tops, and place the 4 bulbs around the chicken breasts, cut side up.  Drizzle olive oil over everything, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and italian herb mix.  Chuck into the oven, and roast for 45-60 minutes, rotating skillet halfway though and turning bulbs over so the cut side is down.  Remove from oven when juices run clear and internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees.

Remove the breasts and bulbs from the pan, cover chicken with foil and let rest.  Pick out any remaining garlic skin from pan (you can leave any garlic cloves that fall out to help season the pan gravy.)  Turn heat up to medium under pan and deglaze with chicken stock.  Simmer to reduce, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.  Slice chicken breasts on the bias and drizzle with gravy.  Serve with crusty bread and roasted garlic bulbs for spreading on the bread.

In retrospect, I would probably have squeezed all the roasted garlic cloves out and mashed them with a little butter to create a spreadable mash, as the bread we bought was too soft and couldn’t handle the straight clove.  It was so very very good, though.  I also served this with a side of super classy 4 Cheese Rice-a-Roni, although any sort of rice or potato side would be as delish.

Man, I wish we had some more leftovers right now.

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