This Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is an incredibly simple French recipe that includes tender chicken cooked with garlic cloves in a delicious sauce. You’re going to LOVE it!

As with so many things, the French do it best, and this delicious chicken recipe is no exception! If you love French food,  you’ve got to try my Croque Monsieur sandwich and classic French Onion Soup.

A plate filled with golden browned chicken thighs, garlic cloves and a creamy sauce.

I’m so excited to share this beautiful and absolutely DIVINE Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic recipe with you all. If you’re familiar with this popular french dish (called Poulet aux Quarante Gousses d’Ail), you may know it traditionally starts with a whole chicken, cut into pieces for cooking. I chose to use chicken thighs to simplify things for the average home cook. You are welcome to use chicken breasts, or to start with a whole young chicken, cut into pieces (skin left on!).

This really is one of the BEST simple dishes with tons of flavor, that works for a casual weeknight or a fancy dinner party.

How to make Chicken with 40 cloves garlic (Poulet aux Quarante Gousses d’Ail):

1. Boil garlic.  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.

A saucepan with water and 40 garlic cloves next to the blanched garlic cloves peeled.

2. Brown chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook it in a very hot pan with butter and oil until skin is golden brown.

3. Add garlic.  Distribute the garlic cloves around the chicken and add thyme and bay leaf. Cover the pan 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.

Browned chicken thighs in a cast iron pot and then garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme sprigs added to the pot.

4. Cook sauce.  Remove the chicken and garlic to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add wine and broth to the skillet and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken stock and add to the pan, cooking until the sauce has slightly thickened. Stir in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.

5. Serve. Place the chicken on a serving platter and pour sauce over the chicken. Serve with French green beans and a toasted baguette for spreading the cooked garlic cloves on.Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and a creamy sauce, in a cast iron pot.

Make this a spectacular French meal by serving the chicken with:

Close up of garlic chicken on a white plate, lifted up by a spoon.

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Recipe

A plate filled with golden browned chicken thighs, garlic cloves and a creamy sauce.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 10 mins
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Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 Tablespoons butter , divided
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme , or ½ tsp, dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine*
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large deep (preferably cast iron) pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and oil until hot.
  • 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.
  • Distribute the garlic cloves around the chicken and add thyme and bay leaf.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the chicken and garlic to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf.
  • 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.
  • Serve with French green beans and a toasted baguette for spreading the cooked garlic cloves on.

Notes

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

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 31gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 322mgPotassium: 525mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 553IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This was my favorite recipe this week – served with mashed potatoes with the sauce as gravy… delicious! Only question is, Why would anyone want to peel garlic this way? 😂 Is there some reason it has to be boiled first? If not it is so much easier to give each clove a whack with the flat of a knife and the peel comes right off!

    1. You have to blanch it first to get rid of the bitter bite it would give the sauce if you didn’t.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! My whole family loved it, and we felt very French eating it with sauteed green beans and a baguette.

  3. Overall very tasty. My garlic cloves were not soft like roasted garlic so I couldn’t spread over bread. The sauce made it for me. My son like the chicken by itself and my wife like the home made baguettes that she used to soak up the sauce

  4. 5 stars
    Hi! In a moment of confusion my friend and i added the stock and wine after browning the chicken but final result was still perfect. In your recipe you brown chicken, add garlic and herbs then cooked on stovetop for 30 mins. How do you prevent scorching or drying? Also I would love to know the source of your recipe if you don’t mind.

  5. 5 stars
    This was easy to make and delicious.

    I must admit though, I gave up after peeling 32 garlic cloves. But it was still more than enough to mix with the mashed potatoes and spread on the baguette.

  6. Fantastic, but I had 2 issues. The garlic list some of its pungency and also stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven. To combat the stickiness, cook lower. I prefer to peel the garlic the hard way so I dont lose any flavor.