We tried Ina Garten’s Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe. In technique it is similar to Coq Au Vin – brown, simmer, make gravy.
I figured this would be a good recipe to learn the ropes of the AGA. What follows are workflow tips on the cooking this on a 2-oven cooker.
Tip 1- Browning the chicken – We used a Le Cruset dutch oven. Preheat pot on floor of roasting oven while prepping chicken. When ready to start browning, pull pot out and place on simmer plate, add oil and heat for 30 seconds or so. Place chicken in pot and move to the boiling plate to get the saute going then return to floor of roasting oven. Brown for a little longer than the recipe calls for. When ready to brown other side, remove from oven and place on simmer plate. Turn over chicken and move to boiling plate to get it going again and return to floor of roasting oven.
Tip 2 – Simmering – We found it takes a little longer to simmer on the AGA than the recipe called for. Add about 10 minutes to simmering time. We simmered in the lower oven with the rack as high as we get it, approx 3rd runner. About halfway through the simmer we moved the pot to boiling plate to make sure it was still going and placed it back in the roasting oven.
Results – We found the chicken to be very moist and tender. Peeling the garlic was pain but drinking wine whilst peeling makes it more fun. Next time we will do half the chicken (1 rather than 2) because of the time it took to brown the chicken in batches, unless of course we have guests.
The biggest lessons learned are the lack of temperature control on the AGA requires some shuffling to take advantage of the hotter parts of the oven. This also requires adding more time to the worksteps. Furthermore, we did experience a temperature drop while cooking (makes sense, we used stored heat to cook the iron pot of poultry). This temp drop also extends the cooking time. No big deal, just plan for it and since much of the cooking on an AGA is unattended, it leaves more time for drinking wine.