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.
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.