Saturday, November 6, 2010
What I am eating tonight: 20-40 Clove Garlic Chicken
As I am getting over the tail-end of this flu that I've had, I am craving some immune boosting garlic to get me over the hump.
Garlic is known to contain many helpful vitamins and extracts to assist in strengthening the immune system.
What's New and Beneficial About Garlic
Garlic may help improve your iron metabolism. That's because the diallyl sulfides in garlic can help increase production of a protein called ferroportin. (Ferroportin is a protein that runs across the cell membrane, and it forms a passageway that allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed.)
In addition to being a good source of selenium, garlic may be a more reliable source as well. Garlic is what scientists call a "seleniferous" plant: it can uptake selenium from the soil even when soil concentrations do not favor this uptake.
The cardioprotective benefits of garlic may partly rest on the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic (called polysulfides) and use them to produce H2S. This H2S in turn can help our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Interestingly, some processed garlic extracts cannot be used by our red blood cells in the same way and do not seem to provide the same level of cardioprotection that is provided by garlic in food form.
Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when the Egyptian pyramids were built. In early 18th -century France, gravediggers drank a concoction of crushed garlic in wine they believed would protect them from the plague that killed many people in Europe. More recently, during both World Wars I and II, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene. Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and possibly lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to improve the immune system. Garlic may also protect against cancer.
While the science is not conclusive, research shows promise for garlic in the areas of cancer protection and heart-related risk factors for patients.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy free radicals -- particles that can damage cell membranes, interact with genetic material, and possibly contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.
SO THERE! Is that enough to convince you to try this delicious nutritious recipe?
Besides enjoying the many nutritional benefits, it is my favorite herb to season with.*insert drool here* Due to unforseen financial shortcomings during the previous crock pot week, I will be revisiting this delicious recipie tonight. Before you try at home, just know that this recipe will make your house smell like a garlic factory.
20-40 Clove Garlic Chicken
3-4 pounds chicken
1 large onion (or 2 bitties, like I used), sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact
I used a 6 quart oval slow cooker. Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion.
Do not add water.Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook chicken-on-the-bone, the more tender it will be. If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crock, burning a bit. If this bothers you, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.
I cooked our chicken on low for 7 hours, then kept it on warm for another 2.
UPDATE 11/07/2010: The chicken was off the chain! It was bursting with garlicy flavor and it was delicious when paired with some sauteed spinach and a baked potato. I would URGE you to try this. You will not regret it. Seriously. Okay, I'm done.