be chicken . . . . . enjoy garlic!
column last week looked and talked a little about garlic
so as promised it is a follow up this week about this
marvelous plant. Garlicactually belongs to the lily
family and is a sterile plant (cannot be grown from
seed). Garlic has been revered for centuries and
not just by the French. Around the world, for over four
millennia garlic has held many important roles in daily
human life. It has not only been used for cooking but
was also taken therapeutically and nutritionally by
the ancients long before modern day scientists proved
its medicinal properties.
you know that:
is generally accepted that garlic originated in
the Kirgiz area of Siberia and then slowly migrated
to the Middle East and eventually Europe
early as 2000 BC the Chinese used garlic for cooking
and as a medicine
bulbs were found in Tutankhamun's tomb
Egyptian papyrus from 1,500 B.C. recommends garlic
for 22 ailments
slaves who built the pyramids of Cheops were given
garlic daily to sustain their strength, as were
Greek athletes would chew a clove before competing
as they thought it gave them health, energy and
the Middle Ages it was thought to prevent the plague
is attributed with good luck and protection against
evil. We all know that a stake through the heart and
the smell is said to kill and ward off vampires but
garlic is said to be also good against sorcerers, werewolves
and warlocks! So maybe a garlic steak? . . . . .
the superstitions, modern research has confirmed what
our ancestors believed and practiced for centuries .
. . the health benefits of garlic. Research in 1858,
by Louis Pasteur, documented that garlic kills bacteria.
During World War II, when penicillin and other drugs
were scarce, garlic was used as an antiseptic to disinfect
open wounds and prevent gangrene.
the way garlic is prepared appears to affect its healing
qualities: when the clove is cut or crushed, an enzyme
contained within the plant cells combines with an amino
acid. This creates a new compound, called allicin, which
has been shown to kill twenty-three types of bacteria,
including salmonella and staphylococcus. When garlic
is heated, a different compound is formed that can prevent
arteries from clogging, and reduce blood pressure and
cholesterol levels. The blood-thinning quality of garlic
may also be helpful in preventing heart attacks and
strokes. Maybe this partly explains the low level of
heart problems with the people of the Mediterranean?
can also apparently kill sixty types of fungi and yeast,
among them are the common causes of athlete’s foot.
A problem most professional chefs have come across and
why an old Indian chef friend of mine once told me to
cut a clove and rub it between my toes once a month!
cooking up a storm with my recipe for the week, read
my Top Ten Garlic
Cooking Tips first.
an amazing little dish this is. Only three ingredients
and three stages of preparation, it looks initially
like “What? How much garlic?”. But trust
me what you are left with is a wonderfully, mild flavoured
chicken where the garlic has just permeated the cooked
flesh and lightly perfumed it. Care must be taken though
to either use un-peeled cloves or if you want to peel
them do so carefully so as not to pierce the outer layer
. . . so why go to all that trouble when unpeeled is
just fine!? As always with whole chicken please ensure
you remove the giblets from the centre of the chicken
and rinse thoroughly, inside and out under running water.
the chicken in a large saucepan with the garlic cloves
and pour over the chicken stock (must be just a mild
flavoured stock). If there is not enough stock to
cover the chicken add more: this will be dependant
on the size or surface area of the pot.
bring the stock to a boil, turn down the heat to a
gentle simmer, cover and poach for 45 - 60 minutes.
chicken and carve into portions and set aside, remove
the garlic cloves and set aside. Bring the stock to
the boil and taste, if it requires strengthening allow
it to simmer until it reduces to the flavour you require.
Thicken with arrowroot, cornflour or flour mixed with
this dish with or without the garlic cloves, some
light, fluffy mashed potatoes with lots of chopped
parsley in and a simple, crisp tossed salad.
time will vary depending on the actual size, thickness
and tenderness of the chicken. Test by cutting the skin
between the legs and breast and looking at the thigh
joint. If it is still showing blood or pinkness poach
your garlic chicken and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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