Chicken in 40 Cloves of Garlic

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Chicken in 40 Cloves of Garlic – not as garlicky as you might think, but the most moist and delicious chicken you will ever have. 

Chicken in 40 Cloves of Garlic

Before you run off because the thought of 40 cloves or garlic scares you, hold on a second. Give me a chance to explain because I thought the same as you. I thought this was going to be very garlicky.

I was very wrong. The garlic turns into this delicious soft, spreadable and flavorful garlic that tastes just like roasted garlic. I’ve heard of chicken in 40 cloves of garlic and I wanted to try my own version of it, I wanted a simple version that was quick and still end up with a delicious meal.

You basically start by frying your chicken until it’s just browned. You can use whatever parts of the chicken you wish, I decided to go with some boneless and skinless chicken thighs, because that’s what I had in the fridge. After you fry the chicken, set it aside and in the same skillet add the 40 cloves of garlic.

Yes I did count them and I used exactly 40 cloves. You just want to roast them a little in that oil that’s left from the chicken and then add the white wine to it and scrape all the good stuff that’s left at the bottom of the pan. For the next step I used my dutch oven and added the chicken the garlic and wine sauce to the pot, cover the pot and put it in the oven for about half an hour. The chicken will become moist, and so flavorful from the wine and garlic, it’s just phenomenal. My herb of choice here was marjoram and it was a great addition but if you don’t like marjoram, you could use oregano or whatever herb you like. If you’ve never tried marjoram before, it’s sweet and mild, it also taste like mint and has a hint of citrus.

Chicken in 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken in 40 Cloves of Garlic
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 40 cloves garlic, cleaned but kept whole
  • ½ cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dry marjoram
  • ½ tsp cumin (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Clean the chicken thighs and pat them dry. Cut them in half.
  3. To a large skillet heat the vegetable oil. Add chicken and fry on both sides just until it's starting to brown and no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and add the cloves of garlic. Add cumin and salt and pepper and stir. Fry until the garlic is just lightly colored. Add the wine to the skillet and scrape all the pieces from the bottom of the skillet.
  4. In a dutch oven, or any oven proof pot with a lid, add the chicken, garlic and wine sauce and toss together. Cover with the lid and place in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with your favorite side dish.


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  1. Rosalie says

    This is an old old recipe and I’m not sure why adding all the extra ingredients is needed.
    Here is how I was shown over 45 yrs ago and this is excellent:
    One whole chicken, uncut, washed and the skin peeled from the breast/top.
    40 cloves of garlic or 20 large cloves..or more than you would normally use!
    Fresh Thyme or dried.
    Olive Oil and real butter, amount varies upon your taste..more than less. Approximately 2 TBS olive oil and 2 TBS butter.
    Salt, either kosher or sea or…
    Large cast iron Dutch Oven, at least 2 quart.
    One cup any type red/rose wine if desired, otherwise plain water.

    Turn oven to 300′ F
    Start heating dutch Oven/pot on stove on medium to low.
    Add olive oil and butter to pot.
    Break apart garlic, smack each clove to break skin, let rest.
    When oil/butter mixture is warm add garlic, you can remove skins or not.
    Let garlic heat slowly, stirring to evenly brown most but not all.
    Prepare chicken by washing inside and out, tearing skin from breast and along legs but leaving skin on.
    Remove excess fat from all.
    Place chicken exposed breast side down in Dutch oven/pot and let cook for approximately 5 minutes, turn over and proceed to stuff some cloves into chicken, leaving the rest in the pot.
    Add salt and a good amount of Thyme. About 2 tsp salt and 4 tsp Thyme or half a handful of fresh.
    Pour liquid in pan, on the side of the bird, not over the top of the bird.
    Cover place in 300′ degree oven for three hours or more.
    Leave it alone. Don’t open.
    After three hours should be done, check by a meat thermometer, or by taking a leg by the end and moving it back and forth, should move freely.
    Yep..this is how we have done that for years. Use the meat thermometer if worried about old methods.
    This is the original recipe, no extras, just good food.
    You can also substitute a can or bottle of any beer if you like for the liquid.

  2. Day says

    I am wanting to make this for a dinner party with about 15-20 people. What is your recommendation for altering the ingredients?

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