Christopher Ranch’s California Garlic Blog

It’s no mystery that fresh garlic is one of the most popular, versatile ingredients ever. What remains relatively unknown, however, are the distinct flavor, quality and health differences associated with varying garlic varieties. Christopher Ranch, a family farm in Gilroy, Calif., grows a California heirloom garlic that is a leader in each category. All Garlic Is Not Created Equal. We’ll show you why.

BYE, BYE, BABY (GARLIC)

With a heavy heart, I must report that Christopher Ranch will no longer be growing, packing or shipping Green Garlic. Green garlic is an extremely labor intensive crop from the planting, to the harvesting, to the marketing, and although we nurtured and cared deeply for our “baby” for the last 12 months, it became increasingly difficult to reconcile the costs involved in production. Eating green garlic, however, was effortless and that experience we will truly miss. By way of consolation, Christopher Ranch still has 60 million pounds of fresh, heirloom California garlic to offer you each year including our peeled and roasted garlic, and jarred garlic products.  I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel better already…

To further ease the blow, here’s my favorite all-time garlic recipe containing enough garlic to knock the melancholy right out of you. Don’t be thrown off by the fragrance of it when cooking – it’s so worth the few minutes of “what’s that smell?” in your kitchen. This fabulous chicken dish was created by Kelly Greene, and was unanimously chosen as the First Place Winner in the very first Gilroy Garlic Festival Recipe Contest and Cook-off.  I’d be willing to bet that it will take first place in your list of favorite recipes as well.  Ajo accolades to Kelly for this amazing dish.

KELLY’S ASIAN CHICKEN

1           3 1/2    lb. frying chicken, cut into serving size pieces, or the equivalent in chicken parts of your choice

3           tbls. peanut oil

1           bulb (not clove) fresh garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

2           small dried hot red peppers (optional)

3/4       cup distilled white vinegar

1/4        cup soy sauce

3            tbls. honey

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet and brown chicken well on all sides, adding garlic and peppers toward the end. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium high heat until chicken is done and sauce has been reduced somewhat. This will not take long, less than 10 minutes. If you are cooking both white and dark meat, remove white meat first, so it does not dry out. Watch very carefully so that the sauce does not burn or boil away. There should be a quantity of sauce left to serve with the chicken, and the chicken should appear slightly glazed. Serve with Chinese noodles, pasta or rice.

Garlicia’s recommendations:  use Christopher Ranch California Garlic, of course, and double the sauce because it’s soooooo garliciously good.  Enjoy!

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