This classic French country chicken dish with yes, 40 cloves of garlic, is perfect for a weeknight dinner or your most elegant dinner party. Paired with budget-friendly chicken thighs, all that garlic mellows into buttery goodness for a dish you'll fall in love with!
"This dish is delicious! When my husband tells me to keep a recipe, it's a miracle! Well done!!"
Friends and garlic lovers, if you've never made 40 Clove Garlic Chicken before, this is a recipe you'll want to add to your repertoire!
Whenever I mention this dish to anyone and when they hear the amount of garlic in it, their eyes tend to get big and a look of incredulity comes over their faces. I understand their reaction because I did the same thing the first time I heard the name of the dish.
I had to try it myself, and I've been smitten with this dish ever since! Dark meat chicken, soft, mellow garlic, wine, herbs, a buttery finish and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for a touch of heat combine for an easy, yet elegant dish!
What is a clove of garlic?
Fresh garlic is generally sold in bulb-like heads, that are covered in whiteish or sometimes purple papery skin. When the outer papery layer is removed, you'll see that one bulb/head is made up of many individual cloves/lobes that are also covered in papery skin.
How to make 40 Clove Garlic Chicken:
- Start with three to four large heads of fresh garlic. Make sure the garlic feels firm and solid with dry skins. There shouldn't be any green sprouts coming from the top.
- Remove as much of the papery skin as possible from 40 cloves. And if you use more than 40 cloves of garlic, I won't tell anyone!
- Coat chicken thighs with seasoned all-purpose flour.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy pan and brown the chicken thighs well on both sides.
- Add white wine to deglaze the pan, toss in the garlic cloves along with fresh rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.
- Add chicken broth and simmer covered until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the garlic cloves are meltingly tender on the inside.
- Swirl in a little butter and crushed red pepper flakes for a touch of heat...
- And you have Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, one of the most lovely French-inspired chicken dishes of all time!
- Serve the 40 Clove Garlic Chicken with crusty bread for soaking up the amazing juices and for spreading the mellow, melty garlic onto.
What to serve on the side:
- Duck Fat and Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Sausage
- Rosemary Garlic Crushed Potatoes with Lemon - Chive Aioli
- French Lentil Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Brie and Bacon
- Cauliflower and White Bean Puree
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Mustard Vinaigrette
- Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Walnut Gremolata
- Asparagus Cordon Bleu
For more easy and delicious chicken recipes, be sure to try my:
- Chicken with Romesco Sauce and Saffron Cauliflower Rice
- Korean Braised Chicken Thighs
- Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives
- Nashville Style Hot Fried Chicken
- Chicken Pinot Noir with Wild Mushrooms and Fresh Basil
- Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes
- Curry Braised Chicken Thighs
- Southwestern Chicken Skillet
- Chicken Bouillabaisse
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 4 chicken thighs - on the bone with the skin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 40 large cloves garlic - left unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary - leaves only, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish
- Crusty French bread
- Generously season the flour with salt and black pepper.
- Dredge both sides of the chicken thighs in the flour.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down first and brown well. Turn the chicken over and brown on the other side.
- Turn the chicken back to skin side up. Remove from the heat to add the wine.
- Add the wine then return to the heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by half.
- Add the chicken broth and garlic and bring the liquid back to a boil. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the skillet and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through to 165 degrees in the center and the garlic is tender.
- Stir in the butter and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle chicken with parsley.
- Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves to enjoy, preferably onto crusty French bread.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Karen Jones says
Can you do all of the steps before simmering and then put it in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours??
Hi, Karen, Thanks so much for your question and sorry it took me so long to get back to you--I've been in an internet-free zone for several days. Yes, and 3 to 4 hours sounds about right for bone-in chicken thighs in a slow cooker. Keep in mind the skin won't be crispy. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!
chris gray says
The pictures show 4 chicken thighs but did I miss where that is written?
Hi, Chris, Thanks so much for your question. It's in the recipe card at the bottom - 4 chicken thighs - on the bone with the skin. Thanks again!
Do you think boneless chicken breast would work? I know more flavourful with thighs, but I just don’t like them.
Hi, Sophie, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer. The chicken breasts won't take as long as the thighs, so you'll have to adjust the cooking time. Perhaps get the garlic cloves cooking then add the breasts back in when there's still about 15-20 minutes left. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!
Nikki Moranville says
This dish is delicious! When my husband tells me to keep a recipe, it's a miracle! Well done!!
Hi, Nikki, Wow! Thanks so very much and so happy it is "husband approved!" Glad you enjoyed!
Velvet Turoff says
Can this be made partially ahead? Maybe up to deglazing the pan? Or just after deglazing? Would like to make for company but need to prep in advance, if possible. Thanks!
Hi, Velvet, Thanks so much for your question. I would suggest stopping at step #6, just before you cover and bring to a simmer. Let it cool then refrigerate. Then, when you're ready to proceed, bring it back up to a simmer, cover and continue cooking per the direction. Thanks again and hope everyone enjoys!
This might sound silly, but do you eat the garlic with the peels still on? It seems like a lot of work to squeeze the garlic out of all those cloves…?
Hi, Desiree, Not silly at all and thanks for your question. You don't eat the garlic with the peels still on and yes, you would need to squeeze the garlic out. It's going to be soft and buttery so it comes out easily. Thanks again!
Lois Luckovich says
YUMMY, it turned out fantastic. I used a whole cut-up chicken. My late friend Elizabeth used to make this quite often. I hadn't found a recipe like hers before, but yours saved the day. Thank you so much
Hi, Lois, Thanks so very much and that means so much, to me!! So happy it reminded you of your friend. Thanks again!
Annette McKenna says
Sounds absolutely delicious. My husband adores garlic and would probably eat the four thighs himself. For my family of 5 I would need to make at least 10 pieces of chicken. How do I adjust the garlic? Would I double, triple the ingredients?
Hi, Annette, Thanks so much for your question! As you saw, this is a smaller scale recipe (serves 2-3). Generally, the 40 cloves of garlic are for 6-8 servings but we absolutely love garlic, too.
Sometimes one thigh is enough per person, others two. I would suggest doubling everything: Wine, broth, etc. Add as much garlic as you like. To make it easier on yourself, perhaps roast some whole heads of garlic on the side. Here's a link on how to do that: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-garlic-in-the-oven-5341 Thanks again, hope everyone enjoys and boy, your house is going to smell amazing!!!!
What a stunning chicken dish. You had me at garlic! I can't wait to make this!
Hi, Cindy, Thanks so very much and hope you enjoy!