For my first attempt at Weekend Herb Blogging, I suppose I ought to have followed my self-proclaimed theme and chosen something Finnish or Jewish. However, given that Finland still hasn't thawed out, and all the Jews are busy preparing for Passover (there's a proper post on bitter herbs coming up in due course), I decided to go for something entirely different.
Rosemary is quite an underrated herb, in my opinion. Most people agree that it smells good, but find that it is too overpowering to cook with. If it's used, it's usually in small quantities that only leaves you with the merest hint of its woody, pine-scented notes. This is a shame, as a more generous amount can create a very memorable meal indeed - especially if combined with garlic.
This chicken dish is remarkably easy to prepare, and ideal for those lazy weekend afternoons when you've been outside all morning and you want to throw together something easy, yet satisfying and special. It also fills your entire house with a particularly mouth-watering aroma (to the point where my starving husband shouted, from upstairs: "What are you trying to do to me???"). It uses an entire head of garlic, but cooking it in wine makes it very mellow - and if you're not a huge fan, you don't have to pop the soft, gooey cloves out of their skins and spread them over your chicken. No, you can just leave them all to me. Really.
I usually serve this dish with tagliatelle, although Dave complained that he found the combination of pasta and chicken on the bone somewhat annoying and difficult to eat. If this doesn't bother you, ignore him. Rice would work, too, and so would a nice crusty bread and a green salad. Just make sure you enjoy the rich, savoury sauce - you'll keep going back for more.
Rosemary and garlic chicken (serves 4)
8 chicken pieces (thighs or drumsticks)
5 tbsp seasoned flour (flour mixed with salt and pepper)
1 head garlic, separated into cloves (no need to peel)
3 large stalks rosemary,whole
300 dry white wine
Wipe the chicken, trim off excess fat if using thighs. Toss in seasoned flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan until very hot, and fry with the skin side down until nicely browned. Turn, and brown on all sides (you may need to do this in batches). Add garlic, rosemary and wine, season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes. Taste, you may need to add more salt. Enjoy!