Weekly Winner:  Great Gobs of Garlicky Goodness

I have learned that when you introduce chicken, yogurt and garlic to a dinner party, wonderful things are bound to happen.  Chicken Tikka Masala, one of my favorites, starts with these three and when two of the three eventually find their way into a sauce for the third? Well that’s pure dinner magic.

I realize marinating chicken in yogurt is not new, but I still tend to be amazed at the results.  You just can’t beat it for tender, juicy, succulent chicken.  That’s just what happened when I decided to try out this recipe for Garlic-Curry Chicken Thighs with Yogurt Sauce which was delivered to my email inbox via Epicurious.

This is one of those meals that basically, once you get it marinating, your done.  It cooks itself without any fussing, turning or basting.  Just throw it in the oven and enjoy the garlicky-chickeny aroma which will waft through your house.

And yes, a final note to my mother, sister and whoever else may be concerned over the lack of vegetables on the plate.  There was a dinner salad that did not make it in the photo.

Garlic-Curry Chicken Thighs With Yogurt Sauce

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic (about 12 cloves), peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp curry powder

2 cups plain Greek yogurt, divided

2-1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided

12 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Procedure:

  1. Mix garlic, curry powder, 1 cup yogurt, 2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup water in a large bowl.  Working in batches, add chicken thighs and turn to coat, using your hands to rub marinade under skin of each thigh.  Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and chill at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425F.  Transfer marinated chicken, skin side up, to a 13×9″ baking dish.  Roast chicken until skin is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165F, about 35 minutes.  If chicken skin starts to burn, move pan to a lower rack to finish cooking.
  3. Transfer chicken to a  serving platter, reserving the pan juices.  Whisk lemon juice, 1/4 cup pan juices, remaining 1 cup yogurt, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl.  If sauce is too thick, add more pan juices.  Serve sauce alongside chicken.

Weekly Winner – The Only Time Soggy Bread is a Good Thing

IMG_1480.JPGLet’s be clear: In general, I am not a fan of soggy, sodden bread. I’m much more of a chewy-crusty-bread kind of gal. There is one exception however, and that is with this soup. Its name is a bit of a misnomer I think. Garlic Bread Soup to me, evokes the cheesy, crispy garlic bread that adorns a big plate of spaghetti. This is not that. What it is, however is comforting beyond belief. It is basically a garlicky, eggy broth with big chunks of sodden, gooey bread. I mean that in a good way, really! And it certainly is not an attractive dish. Looking at the picture now it looks like a bowl of flaccid chicken. Oh, forget it! There is no describing this soup in a way that will do it justice. Just make it and see for yourself!

One note on the recipe, which by the way comes from Martha Stewart Living, is that it says it makes 5 cups which serves 4. Uh, no. It does indeed make 5 cups but that only manages to serve me and my husband once for lunch. Double it — you’ll be glad you did.

Garlic Bread Soup
Makes 5 cups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups bite-size pieces stale crusty bread
6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
Flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Procedure:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic paste; cook, stirring occasionally until very fragrant but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Add bread, and stir to coat. Stir in stock and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.

Discard bay leaf. Stir in eggs. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up eggs, about 10 minutes. Serve soup garnished with parsley leaves.