Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

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This Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is an incredibly simple French recipe that includes tender chicken with garlic in a delicious sauce.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 585kcal


  • 4 Tablespoons butter , divided
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme , or 1/2 tsp, dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine*
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Separate garlic cloves (you don’t need to peel them) and add to the water. Cook for 1 minute, then drain and peel garlic.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat a large deep (preferably cast iron) pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and oil until hot.
  4. Add chicken, skin side down (cook in batches if you can’t fit all of the thighs at once) and cook for 5 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
  5. Distribute the garlic cloves around the chicken and add thyme and bay leaf.
  6. Cover the skillet and cook over med-low heat for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
  7. Transfer the chicken and garlic to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf.
  8. Turn the skillet to high heat and add the wine. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken stock and add to the pan. Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter. Place the chicken on a serving platter and pour sauce over the chicken.
  9. Serve with French green beans and a toasted baguette for spreading the cooked garlic cloves on.


*the white wine adds a great depth of flavor. If you’re not comfortable cooking with alcohol you can leave it out.

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