This is my single favorite dish in my repertoire; I make it whenever I'm stuck for something to have for dinner. Also, it's easy and tasty enough to serve to guests. Just leave out the things with asterisks if you're really paring down your fat intake; the wine, garlic, and herbs add enough flavor that the dish doesn't suffer much from the omissions.
1 broiler/fryer chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds, butchered however you prefer
40 whole, peeled cloves of garlic (more is fine too, but don't try to chickenshit around with less)
* 2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
about 6 cups of palatable, drinkable white wine ("cooking wine" ruins food)
a few splashes of brandy
a few sprigs of fresh herbs to your taste (I like thyme, but sage and/or tarragon would be good too)
couple of tablespoons of flour for thickening the sauce
* about a 1/4 cup of heavy cream
Heat a large stew-pot. While the pot's heating up, salt and pepper the raw chicken liberally.
Add butter and oil to the pot, using just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot (butter has a very low smoking point, so adding oil will give you a larger temperature window to work in than butter alone would). Quickly put your chicken in the pot (hot pot + cold oil = no sticking food).
Brown the chicken for about 6-8 minutes, long enough to get some good color on it; flip the pieces over and repeat for the other side (should only take about 4-6 minutes to get the other side browned). Remove the chicken from the pot and pile it on a plate or waxed paper.
Next, add the garlic to the remaining oil and crunchy, browny chickeny goodness in the pot. It'll sizzle and pop a bit, but you don't want to actually brown the garlic--you just want to get a little flavor out of it and into the oil. Once the garlic's been in there for a few minutes (only a few--if you burn the garlic it'll be bitter), toss in a splash of brandy, the stock, and the wine. Add the chicken back into the pot (pour in any chicken juice that's built up, too), drop your herbs on top, and slap a lid on the whole thing. Cook on low-medium heat for about 45 minutes or until it's done (when you poke the chicken with a fork, juices should run clear).
Now you're ready for the gravy. Take your chicken back out of the pot (but don't put it back on the same plate you used before, since that one has nearly-raw-chicken filth on it, unless of course you want some food poisoning to help you lose weight). Ladle out a little bit of it--maybe half a cup--and stir flour into that small amount so you have a paste about the texture of thick pancake batter. Add the flour mixture into the pot and cook over low heat until it thickens up. This is also when you would add the heavy cream if you're using it.
There you go--high-protein, low-fat, almost no carbs, tastes good enough to serve to people you like, and only involves dirtying one pot. Goes great with brown rice (healthy) or with mashed potatoes (not healthy, but mmmm) and any vegetables you can think of. Be sure to serve it with some sort of bread; the best part is picking the butter-soft garlic pieces out of the sauce to spread on bread in place of butter.
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