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Old 08-16-2007, 02:29 AM   #1
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Garlic and Cast Iron

I am baffled by an incident I had this evening while cooking garlic chicken. Maybe there is some crazy rule about garlic and or cast iron that I don't know so if thats the case I am a moron.
So here go's. I am prepping fresh garlic for my chicken while the cast iron skillet is heating up. I drizzle some olive oil in the pan and toss in the garlic after putting it through the press. I wanted the 2 ingredients to mix up together before I added the chicken, sounded like a good idea to me. I set the lid on top the pan to keep the heat in(its on low heat) while I cut up some chicken pieces. Right before I put them in I add some salt and pepper and noticed this funky chemically smell. Hmmm. I though maybe my nose is all f'd up. So I ask the boyfriend to come and smell this, its funny. Thank god he smells its too and I am not crazy. It was very odd. So I pull the pan off and we figure that maybe we didn't clean the pan good enough last time and i will get some new garlic and start over. Geesh, So i peel all new garlic grab a completely diff cast iron skillet, completely clean. Grab the bottle of evoo, and give a good wiff to make sure its not rancid. Nope smells fine.So I heat up the pan, drizzle in some new oil, and press the garlic and BAM! Horrible freaking smell again. So bad it makes my eyes water. It was so **** foul, even stronger this time. GRRRRRRRRRRR wtf? I am totally confused! I grabbed a stainless steel pan, some butter, and some garlic salt and finsihed dinner. But I was pissed and cant get that obnoxious smell out of my nose still.


Anyone ever had a similar reaction?

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Old 08-16-2007, 09:25 AM   #2
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I am baffled as to why you put the lid on the pan to saute garlic. When you do that, the garlic tends to steam. But more than that, if you were cutting up chicken pieces AFTER you put the pressed garlic in the cast iron pan, your garlic was burning and that's what you smelled. It takes only a minute or so to saute pressed garlic if even that long and cutting up chicken takes much longer. Overbrowned garlic does have a very unpleasant smell and tastes just as bad. Get your chicken cut up BEFORE you even start cooking so you can get everything in the pan before it starts burning. I saute garlic in cast iron often since all of my cookware is cast, and never had that problem. Don't let garlic get beyond the "golden" stage before you drop your chicken in. Better yet, sprinkle the garlic over the chicken once it begins to cook. Cast iron heats up slowly but retains a tremedous amount of heat once it's hot and your garlic probably was beyond the "golden" stage."
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen
Get your chicken cut up BEFORE you even start cooking so you can get everything in the pan before it starts burning. I saute garlic in cast iron often since all of my cookware is cast, and never had that problem.
DramaQueen is right. There's a cooking procedure called mise en place that essentially means, have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. For dishes with a lot of ingredients that have to be used in a certain order, I will line them up in order on my cutting board(s). It's a big help.

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:46 AM   #4
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Put minced garlic in pan with olive oil at room temperature and warm pan uncovered on low (warm) setting. When ready to fry raise heat. When up to temperature, add chicken and adjust heat to prevent burning. As DQ indicated you have to anticipate temperature changes because cast iron holds heat better than those tinney steel pans.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:15 AM   #5
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Another thought: It seems that the garlic is being used to flavor the oil, so I would saute it in the heated oil for 30 seconds or so, then remove it. Then you won't have to worry about burning it.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic
Another thought: It seems that the garlic is being used to flavor the oil, so I would saute it in the heated oil for 30 seconds or so, then remove it. Then you won't have to worry about burning it.
I agree. Sauteeing garlic till golden and then adding the chicken will result in burned garlic by the time the chicken is cooked. Plus, you cook the garlic on low heat and need to raise the heat for the chicken.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
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I'm lucky in that the very first time I cooked garlic, my brother was on hand to lecture me about the importance of never letting it burn. I nearly ruined a whole dinner...

And I third GotGarlic's motion--saute the garlic, remove it, place it back in after the chicken's done if you want it in the dish.
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