The Italians seem to recognize the true worth of anchovies. This recipe relies on their wonderful ability to turn to a cream over the heat. The garlic, cooked whole, adds a mild sweetness. The dish is delicious served with a bowl of tagliatelle or new potatoes and a crisp green vegetable.
Empty the anchovies and their oil into the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over a saucepan of hot water. Stir over simmering water until the anchovies seem to melt into a brown cream.
Take the bay leaves from the cooking liquid and discard. Pop the cloves of garlic out of their skins into a sieve, then rub them through the sieve into the anchovy mixture. Next, pour the chicken poaching liquid into a saucepan and bubble fiercely over a high heat until well reduced and almost syrupy. Stir in the anchovy and garlic mixture and the double cream and bring to the boil again for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with black pepper and some salt if necessary. Finely chop the parsley, stir it into the sauce and pour the sauce over the chicken — if the chicken has been in the oven for some time and created more liquid, add this to the sauce first.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.