Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

I think I “mmm”ed 40 times as I ate this, once for each clove of garlic I ate.

The garlic is unbelievably sweet and tender, and don’t tell the chicken, but I was really just using it here as a vessel to eat the garlic.

I think next time I will make this “chicken with eighty cloves of garlic,” for that very reason, because I kept stealing my poor husband’s garlic cloves right off his plate.

You have now been advised to adjust the recipe accordingly, given that you are as much of a garlic monster as I am.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Yield: Serves 2

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic


  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, skin on (and on the bone if possible)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Brandy or Cognac (it's important to get a good one for this)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
  • salt and pepper


  1. Separate the heads of garlic into individual cloves and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the garlic and peel (if they don't peel easily, stick them back in the water for 30 seconds).
  2. Pat the chicken breasts with paper towels to ensure that the skin is extra dry (that way we get a good sear on it). Season all surfaces of the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper. We are not only seasoning the meat, but also using the salt to draw away any extra moisture.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the chicken skin side down first, until browned and crispy, for 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the other.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate, and add all of the peeled garlic to the pan. Saute for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until evenly browned.
  5. Deglaze the pan by adding the Brandy or Cognac, as well as the chicken stock or wine, and make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken back in the pot with the juices and add the thyme. Cover and simmer over medium low for 20 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and has reached 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Take the chicken out and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm, and reduce the rest of the sauce over high heat to thicken, if desired. Pour the sauce and garlic over the chicken. YUM! Enjoy your chicken!


Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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5 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • avatar Platanos, Mangoes and Me! April 20, 2011, 2:12 pm

    This is the color the chicken took. I would grab that skin right now if it was in front of me.

    Happy Easter!

  • avatar Lyuda June 21, 2011, 8:04 pm

    it was yummy! although my garlic turned out much darker… i tried really hard to keep it from browning too much. maybe it was the wine? either way, will definitely make this again :)

  • avatar mjskit December 30, 2011, 7:04 pm

    Hum – let me think. Do you think I would like something with so much garlic? :) Actually I have a similar recipe but I braise it so the garlic doesn’t come out brown like yours. This looks fabulous! I can definitely see taken some of cloves and smashing them on homemade bread. Great recipe!

  • avatar Shannon August 13, 2012, 4:55 pm

    Hi Joanne,

    So I made this super awesome 40 cloves again last night and got the same rave reviews from my family. They absolutely love, love, love it. My 5 year old daughter didn’t even swallow her first bite before asking me to make it again! She asked me if she could have it for breakfast also!!! I’ve tried several of your recipes so far and The Chicken with 40 cloves and the Mexican Braised Chicken are the most requested. Keep the recipes coming!!! :)

    • avatar Joanne Ozug August 13, 2012, 5:48 pm

      Shannon, I’m so glad to hear this! And even MORE glad to hear that your 5 year old daughter likes it so much! Good for you for feeding your kids some healthy, from scratch meals. Happy cooking!!!


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