Gwyneth Paltrow is loathsome, but nobody does loathsome better. Blake Lively sucks, Alicia Silverstone looks exhausted, and no one is taking Shailene Woodley’s advice on toothpaste. None of them went to Spence, dated Brad Pitt, or won an Academy Award while wearing a pink princess gown, so why would you bother listening to them? You think you know girls and women like Gwyneth, but you don’t, not really anyway. No one else is quite on her level. She can do whatever she wants, she is never embarrassed, and she certainly never loses. So of course I want to know what she cooks for 4-6 people on a weeknight. Wouldn’t you?
That quote is from a Gawker article about a Gwyneth Paltrow chicken recipe on Goop. The article is titled “This is the best chicken you will ever make,” and Saturday evening, I attempted to make it. It may well be the best chicken you’ll ever make.
A little bit of backstory:
1. I do find Gwyneth Paltrow mostly objectionable, although I went to grades 4-8 about three blocks from Spence, so there’s that. “Conscious uncoupling” might have been the final straw.
2. I like chicken because I think it’s (a) generally cheaper, (b) slightly better for the Earth, and (c) can be seasoned nineteen ways from Sunday for an OK situation. My wife, however, hates chicken — if I see like 3 lbs. on sale for $7, which happens more than you’d think, she gets pissed if I buy it. In my mind, that’s like four-six meals for seven bucks. Hard to beat.
3. I was about 85 percent sober when I cooked this, and it’s not necessarily that challenging to do.
The only difference I did from the main Goop/Gwyneth recipe was I reduced the heat to low-medium (as opposed to medium-high) and cooked it covered — as opposed to uncovered — for about 2 hours. Every 30 minutes I’d uncover it, stir it around, and add a bit more salt, cinnamon, or pepper. I also used 1 cup of chicken broth as opposed to 1/2 cup. Otherwise, everything I did was the same.
I’ve probably had better chicken, although I don’t think I’ve ever had more flavorful chicken. It’s pretty amazing in that regard. My wife even liked it and ate the entire bowl. Plus, since you’re doing this off a full chicken (ideally), you have leftovers for days — or, if you want, you can turn some of the leftover chicken parts into a stock. We did that and it yielded 12 small mason jars of stock, which are each about 1.5 cups (I think). Long story short, I don’t need to buy any chicken stock for a while.
If you can get a whole chicken for $10-$12 (which is often possible in the U.S.), I’d say this is a cheap, pretty easy (albeit more time-intensive), flavorful meal that will yield much more than just the dinner. And hey, the lady we got it from dated Brad Pitt, so that’s something — right?