Friday, May 11, 2012

Zankou's Garlic Sauce Clone


Grilled Game Hen w/Garlic Sauce

I had come across a news story about an Armenian-Lebanese restaurant called Zankou Chicken. This Armenian-Lebanese rotisserie chicken restaurant with a store in Anaheim, California (home of Disneyland) Little Arabia, is widely known for its white garlic sauce.  
At first I was thinking "how good could this possibly be"? After a little more reading I figured that a tiny shop that nets over $1 million annually must be doing something right. As good as the chicken is supposed to be, this sauce defines what they do.
Last night I did a simple grilled game hen that I cooked with just salt, pepper over hardwood charcoal that I added a couple of sticks of applewood to. This chicken was moist and juicy and the Zankou Garlic sauced absolutely killed.
Before you break this out for a special date please keep in mind that this recipe calls for an entire head of raw garlic.

Zankou Garlic Sauce Clone
1 large, peeled russet potatoes
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, reserve half
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil



Zankou Garlic Sauce 

  • Make sure the potatoes are completely peeled, with any green or brown discoloration is removed.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then mash to a smooth consistency. Allow to cool.
  • Pour the oil into a measuring cup with a spout to allow for easy administering.
  • Place the peeled garlic cloves, salt and half of the lemon juice in a blender. Be sure to secure the lid.
  • Turn the blender on high, and slowly stream the oil through the hole in the lid until the mixture combines into a smooth consistency.
  • Pour out the garlic "mayo" into a bowl
  • Add the mashed potatoes to the mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until it's the consistency of loose, mashed potatoes. 
  • Add the remaining lemon juice a little at a time until the tartness tastes balanced to you.
  • Cover the bowl, and chill the sauce completely.
  • Temperature will affect how salty foods taste. Adjust the salt after the sauce has cooled.
This sauce had the consistency of frosting. The starch from the potato when pureed gets a pasty texture and next time I might not use a ricer to mash the potato. The sauce keeps its texture when cooled and the flavor is out of this world. This could easily become a "go to" for sandwiches or just about any other protein dish you want to give a garlic kick to.

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