Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic sounds overwhelming but instead it is a deliciously mellow garlic with a creamy white wine sauce you’ll want every day!
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. My mom loved cooking with garlic and white wine, so this dish was always a favorite with a side of crusty bread.
French recipes like Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic seem to get a bad rap for being difficult to make. The secret of this dish is just treating your ingredients well and cooking them with care since there are so few of them. You always hear “cook with a wine you would drink” and today’s recipe is exactly that as I enjoyed the rest of the bottle thoroughly thanks to Holman Ranch and Will’s Fargo Restaurant who gave me the bottle of wine to cook with and hosted us for a wonderful meal at Will’s Fargo Restaurant in Carmel, CA.
We had the absolute best time in Carmel (kid free! cue the singing angels here for a minute) and you can read all about hotels, winery, tasting and Will’s Fargo restaurant here. This post is reserved for awesome Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic made with one of the delicious bottles of wine the proprietor’s were kind enough to send us home with.
I cook the chicken in my trusty cast iron because I love the browning capabilities of it and the even cooking in the oven. Plus with a rustic recipe like this one, it really does present wonderfully. I tell almost everyone who asks, but I use this skillet so much I never put it away. Also, against rules of cast iron but following the rules of what seems most hygenic, I do wash my skillet after each use. Then I add a bit of canola oil to the pan and rub it in deeply with a paper towel.
If you’re making this meal and you want to make it more of a one pot wonder you can definitely add a few variations:
- Double the sauce ingredients (butter, wine, cream, flour)
- Add small fingerling potatoes or baby red potatoes you’ve tossed with a bit of Kosher salt and some olive oil (try not to use a cut potato or it will soak up a ton of the liquid and break down) just before putting the pan in the oven.
- Add frozen peas at the end or make quick Buttered Carrots and Peas.
- Serve with garlic roasted tomatoes, you can also add some thin asparagus stalks to the pan when roasting the carrots if you prefer asparagus to peas.
That amazing pan sauce you see is pure heaven scooped up with a piece of french bread. Not a bad meal huh? Serve it up with some delicious Will’s Fargo Pinot Gris. 😉
- 40 cloves garlic, peeled (about 3 heads of garlic)
- 8 chicken thighs, skin and bone on
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups white wine (I used Will's Fargo Pinot Gris)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the garlic in a small saucepan covered with water and boil for a minute.
- Remove the garlic and dry on a paper towel.
- Dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel, the drier the skin, the better it will brown.
- Season your chicken with salt and pepper to taste (I use about a teaspoon of kosher salt and a ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper).
- In a cast iron skillet or your favorite frying pan add two tablespoons of butter and add half of the chicken skin side down on medium high.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until well browned and remove from the pan.
- Cook the second half of the chicken the same way then remove to a plate.
- Add the garlic cloves to the pan and on low cook for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.
- Add the wine and scrape up any browned chicken bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken back to the pan add the fresh thyme.
- Cover the pan with foil tightly and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and take the chicken out of the pan (I usually put it on a plate and cover it with the foil I used to cover the pan when baking.
- Mix the cream and flour together and add to the pan, cooking on medium high until it boils and thickens.
- Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the stalks of thyme.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and serve immediately.
- Serve with some amazing mashed potatoes.