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40-Clove Garlic Rotisserie Chicken

Posted by Chef Perry P. Perkins on

40-Clove Garlic Rotisserie Chicken

~Chef Perry Perkins~

If you're hesitant about this much garlic in one dish (I was, too) , have no fear – 40 cloves of garlic gives an amazing garlic essence to the chicken, and slowly basting the meat in its juices, as the bird turns over the coals. The flavors really meld, leaving the chicken moist, tender and flavorful.

Thicken up the sauce with a little bit of flour, is gravy perfection!


2 quarts water
1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup salt


1 whole large roasting chicken, brined
2 carrots
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/4 Cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. thyme

2 stalks celery
40 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. basil
1 Sweet onion, quartered

Whisk the salt and sugar into the water until they’re completely dissolved. Place the chicken in a large bowl or pot and cover with the water. Refrigerate it in the brine for four hours, then remove it and dry well with a clean towel.

Cut celery and carrots lengthwise.

Combine herbs and spices with butter (except garlic). Rub inside the large cavity of bird with 2/3 of the herb butter, add carrots, celery, onion, and 30 garlic cloves. Rub remaining herb butter in neck cavity with 10 garlic cloves.

Light 16lbs (1 bag) of Kingsford charcoal at one end of your caja china. Light just the front edge of the coals, so that the coals burn slowly from front to back.

Truss the chicken to keep the wings and legs tight against the body (floppy chickens and rotisseries do not work well together!) Thread chicken onto skewer (I like to add a peeled lemon on the end, to help keep everything else inside.

Run the spit-forks, spikes first, up the skewer and push firmly into the chicken. Tighten the wingnuts on the sit-forks to keep them in place. Insert skewer into the upright poles and set square end into motor slot. Turn the rotisserie on.

If you plan to make gravy, add a drip pan with a little water, directly below the chicken.

Rake ½ of the lit coals to the far end of the coal grate (under the chicken). Rake some more to that end, leaving an open slot directly under the chicken. Roast approximately 2 hours, raking more coals under the chicken as needed until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F. Remove from heat and allow to rest, tenting in foil, for at least 15 minutes.

Happy Roasting!

~Chef Perry

As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.

His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”

You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at

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