Mmmmmmm... Garlic!

Garlic, Allium sativum, is a first class all-round anti-pathogen herb.  It is a powerful antiviral, as well as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitical herb.  Raw garlic is a more effective antiviral herbal remedy than any pharmaceutical drug.  In addition, because garlic is a natural substance, it works with the body rather than against it.   Therefore, your body’s built-in intelligence will quickly put garlic’s active components to work wherever they are needed most.

During this time of year, when we are all being confronted with countless sick-bugs, garlic can be a wonderful addition to your diet to help bolster your immune system.  Garlic is one of my very favorite cooking ingredients, and here are a couple of delicious recipes in which garlic is the star. 

Crockpot Chicken with 40 Cloves

1 4-5 lb whole chicken
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, whole
1 sprig fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, whole
1 sprig fresh sage, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh sage, whole
2 fresh stalks of Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 fresh stalks of Italian parsley, whole
3 large garlic bulbs (about 40 cloves) unpeeled
2 medium carrots, chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 medium stalks celery, chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
¼ - ½ cup dry cooking sherry
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper

Place carrots, celery and onion in the bottom of the crockpot, forming a nice even layer.  Remove the innards from the chicken, rinse the chicken with fresh water (inside and out), pat dry, and set the chicken on top of the veggies in the crockpot.  Place the whole sprigs of rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley into the cavity of the chicken.  Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken and sprinkle the chopped herbs on top.  Place the unpeeled forty cloves of garlic all around the chicken, and pour the sherry over everything.  Cover with the crockpot lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove it carefully from the crockpot to carve and serve.  Make sure to reserve the garlic cloves and carrots to serve on the side.  A nice crusty baguette is the perfect accompaniment for the roasted garlic cloves in this dish.


Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic

1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
16 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ - ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil, adding more to taste

Mix oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic together in a casserole dish.  Toss in cauliflower and arrange into a single layer.  Roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Toss gently and bake for 10 minutes more, or until cauliflower is nicely browned and garlic is beginning to caramelize.