by Barbara Porsch – Master Gardener, Herb Enthusiast
Garlic, or as it is affectionately called “stinking rose” was selected by the International Herb Association as the herb of the Year in 2004.
Gilroy, California, has been known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” since 1979. Will Rogers once described Gilroy as “the only town in America where you can marinate a steak by hanging it on the clothes line.” Seriously!!
Garlic was used by the Babylonians as early as 3000 B.C. Later recorded in China. Besides culinary uses it has a reputation as a powerful medicinal. During WW I sphagnum moss was soaked with garlic juice and applied to soldier’s wounds. There were many uses all during the ages: treat or cure whooping cough, colds, sore throats, rheumatism and small pox, even restoration of hair growth. And we all know that it will ward off vampires.
Garlic is a vigorous member of the lily family and is hardy throughout Texas. Plant it in the fall in a sunny well drained location and then harvest in late summer as the stalks begin to yellow and brown. You can even plant the garlic purchased at the grocers, but you may find better varieties from a reputable nursery.
Try this easy version of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. For this recipe I love that you can purchase a container of peeled cloves of garlic in the produce department at HEB.
8 chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil salt and pepper
40 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup good chicken broth
Chopped parsley for garnish and sliced French bread baguettes to smear the cooked garlic on.
Melt butter and oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Lightly salt and pepper chicken. Add half of the chicken to the pan; cook 2 minutes on each side just until golden. Remove and repeat with remaining chicken (don’t crowd). Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and cook 1 minute or so until it begins to brown, stirring frequently. Arrange chicken on top of garlic. Add broth and wine. Cover and cook about 15 minutes until chicken is done. Serve with rice or angel hair pasta.
Cooked or roasted garlic has a mellow flavor, unlike raw garlic. If you are afraid of “garlic breath” just go out to the herb garden and munch on a few leaves of basil or parsley. The high chlorophyll content of these herbs will neutralize the garlic. Of course if everybody eats garlic, nobody will notice.
As always, you can contact the AgriLife office in Ector at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.