Chicken With 100 Cloves of Garlic

Written by Father Bill 12 Comments

  While still beset by projects domestic and ministerial, this blog must get by on less substantial apologetical or polemical fare.  But, as I have just gotten up from an evening repast that featured  Chicken with 100 Cloves of Garlic as the main dish, this dish – which has its peculiarly different appeals to men and women – will serve as satisfactory blog fodder for this weekend.

 You don’t need quite this much garlic, but almost

Did you know that Pliny the Roman historian lists no less than sixty-one medicinal uses for garlic? A few are:

  • Vampires flee from it.
  • Will cure a cold.
  • Will cure warts.
  • Will stop fainting spells.
  • Wards off the evil eye.
  • Will grow hair.
  • A restorative for failing masculine powers.
  • Alleviates high blood pressure.

Chicken with 100 Cloves of Garlic is actually a double recipe of Chicken with 50 Cloves of Garlic.  There were six at table this evening, and one chicken wouldn’t do.  So we cooked two.  The recipe is simple:

For each 3 to 4 pound roasting chicken, stuff the cavity with two sprigs of fresh rosemary, a couple of chunks of french bread, and as many cloves of garlic as the cavity will contain.  Rub the chicken with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.    Rub the interior of the roasting pan with olive oil as well.

Place the chicken and the remaining cloves of garlic along with a cup of water in a roasting pan with lid, and pop it in a 350 degree (covered) for two hours to two and a half hours (depending on the weight of the chicken(s)). Geneva, my daughter, used a largish roasting pan that held both chickens and the 100 cloves of garlic.

When done, the chicken meat will fall off the the bones.  Lift the garlic cloves from around the chicken out of the stock with a slotted spoon and serve as a garnish.  The stock may be served as gravey, or used later in a soup.  Serve with broccoli, green beans, or zuccini, and your favorite carb (potatoes, pasta, rice).  Toasted bagette slices are a great addition.

Women love the dish because of its ease of preparation and the wonderful aroma imparted to the house as the chicken cooks.  Men love the dish because of the extravagant abundance of garlic, which becomes a sensory indulgence during the meal.  The cloves may be squeezed with the fingers onto the chicken or pasta or toasted baguette slices.  Or they may be eaten whole.  They have a surprisingly buttery taste.


  1. Ryan Martin   |  Sunday, 08 July 2007 at 1:05 pm

    This makes my mouth water…

  2. Ralph   |  Sunday, 08 July 2007 at 2:12 pm

    I’m with Ryan, that’s gotta be good!!! Getting a new outdoor grill this week (a manly type of thing, a must for summer), and that I’ve got to try, stuffing a chicken or 2 with, though I’m thinking of using a rotisserie. Maybe I can mince some garlic, and stuff it under the skin as well? Oh yeah, that aroma while it’s cooking is good, and I concur, it’s definetly a “sensory indulgence during the meal.”

    One of your best posts yet!! :-), stuff you can really sink your teeth into.

  3. Fr. Bill   |  Sunday, 08 July 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Ryan, my mouth is alread watering at the memory of it. And, Ralph, I’ll be sinking my teeth into a related left-over version in a couple of hours.

    One chicken wasn’t enough for six, two provided enough meat and two carcasses for additional stock. Tonight, Geneva has steeped the remains of the birds for several hours, generating a gelatin-rich stock. To this she’s adding fresh green beans, celery, carrots, onion, and various additional herbs, and the left-over chicken. We’ll dine on bowls of it, with bagette bread and washed down with well-chilled Ziegenbock quaffed from iced mugs. Topping it off, she’ll serve a slap-you-up-side-the-head-vanilla ice cream or Rocky Road ice cream. I’ll likely have some of both.

  4. Leigh Ann   |  Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 8:13 am

    I have seen this recipe but never had the nerve to try it–and I like garlic. I will have to make it for my hubby, since he adores garlic.

  5. Fr. Bill   |  Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Two things here ….

    1. The garlic does NOT overwhelm the chicken.

    2. The garlic cloves seem to be “tamed” by the slow roasting in/around the chicken. Picking up a clove of garlic, pinching it onto a piece of toasted bagette, spreading it with a knife (as if it were butter) — yum!

  6. Ryan Martin   |  Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Dear Esteemed Friend,

    My wife wants to know if you have to unwrap each clove of garlic. 🙂

  7. Fr. Bill   |  Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 8:03 pm

    My wife wants to know if you have to unwrap each clove of garlic.


    A garlic bud, as you know, is covered with many layers of papery tissue, and when you break cloves out of the bud, each of them usually has several layers of the same papery tissue. Most of these come off easily and quickly by simply pinching the cloves.

    The last layer on a clove is pretty tough, and I don’t wonder that your wife wonders whether or not she can avoid removing them. The answer is “yes,” she can simply pop them into the chicken and the roaster.

    When it’s all done, you can pick up each clove with your fingers and squeeze. The buttery clove mass will slip out of its papery skin, into your mouth, or onto a piece of bread.


  8. Greg Linscott   |  Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 9:11 pm

    This sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing, BQ!

  9. Michael McMillan   |  Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 8:24 am

    > Did you know that Pliny the Roman historian
    > lists no less than sixty-one medicinal uses for
    > garlic?

    Any improved results?

  10. Fr. Bill   |  Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 8:53 am

    Who knows? My guess is that any benefits were probably overpowered by the olfactory effects of garlic.

    As to this, one night in Vienna many years ago, my wife and I had returned home after an evening that included a visit to my favorite cafe. A block from the Opera House, Smutny’s was a working-man’s sort of place — not exactly rough, but not at all snooty or expensive as places in that part of the city usually are. I had consumed my favorite menu item. It began with two or three cloves of fresh garlic sauteed until light brown, then a veal cutlet is pan-fried atop this butter/garlic combo. When the cutlet is plattered, the skillet of butter/garlic is poured over the top. The whole is served with a heaping mound of pommes-frites.

    It was winter, and our house was heated with hot-water radiators. Consequently, doors were kept closed, to conserve the heat within the room being heated.

    Somewhere in the night, I arose and made my way to the toilet, carefully closing the bedroom door behind me as I pattered along the chilly hallway to the bathroom. When I returned to the bedroom about five minutes later, my nose must have cleared out pretty well. When I opened the bedroom door to enter, I was struck by an almost tangible wall of garlic odor. Acclimatized to it, you’d never notice. Hitting it “fresh” was breath-taking.

    I think the method of cooking makes a difference. Eating garlic sauteed in butter seems to turn the eater into a dispenser of garlic fumes. I never had this experience with 100 cloves of garlic (and I must have eaten 20 of them myself!) baked slowly with chicken.

  11. Leigh Ann   |  Wednesday, 08 August 2007 at 11:16 pm

    The rule in our house is that we both have to eat the garlic then no one minds:-). And as Piglet says “It’s so much more friendly with two.”

  12. frank   |  Monday, 27 December 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I was in cal last week there is a resturant called the stinky rose everything made with garlic even ice cream just in case anyone in cal look it up u cant go worng not for from lax airport

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