American/ Main Dishes

40 Clove Chicken

40 Clove Chicken

Be still my heart. 40 Clove Chicken is baked with white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream.

Yep that’s right, 40 cloves. That’s two or in some cases, three entire heads of garlic. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? Well what if I told you that those 40 cloves of garlic are baked with chicken white wine, chicken stock, rosemary and thyme until they are tender and sweet. Then if that wasn’t enough a little creamย is tossed in at the end to make a deliciously creamy garlic sauce perfect for pouring over chicken.

Be still my heart. 40 Clove Chicken is baked with white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream.

As a garlic lover, I have tried and failed to make this dish on many occasions. One disastrous attempt involved me cooking rice in the dish. When I removed the lid from the top I was surprised to see that there was absolutely no whole garlic cloves left. Each and every clove had dissolved and cooked into the rice. Although the garlic flavor was incredibly overwhelming we ate it anyway. And anyone who eats a lot of garlic knows that if you eat way too much, sometimes you start to smell like it. Well, later on that night, I realized that I had eaten too much garlic when our dog Pumpkin, who usually loves burrowing and sleeping under the covers next to Ryan and I, hung her head outside the blankets for a little while before giving up, jumping out of our bed and booking it to hers. After seeing that, I decided it was time to get back to the drawing board.

Be still my heart. 40 Clove Chicken is baked with white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream.

That was a few attempts ago, and now I have finally perfected it. Sure there is still 40 cloves of garlic, after all it is 40 clove chicken, but the whole gloves remain intact providing a sweet garlicky taste that is not too over powering.

Be still my heart. 40 Clove Chicken is baked with white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream.

One last note. Most 40 clove chicken recipes call for a whole chicken but I find that the cooking time required makes the chicken breasts dry out just a bit yet the drumsticks and thighs remain tender. So instead of using a whole chicken, I use drumsticks and thighs resulting in a succulent bite each and every time.

Be still my heart. 40 Clove Chicken is baked with white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream.

40 Clove Chicken

Print Recipe
Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 40 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or other oven proof pot over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. In batches, cook chicken until browned. About 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a separate platter. Set aside.


Reserve 2 tablespoons of pan drippings, add in garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cook until garlic browns slightly, stirring often, about 2 minutes.


Return chicken to pan, pour chicken stock and wine over the top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10 minutes. If you would like the chicken skin crispier turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes.


Remove chicken from oven. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Place dutch oven back on the stove and turn heat to medium. Bring to a boil. Stir 1 tablespoon of hot pan drippings into the heavy cream to temper it. Reduce heat and slowly whisk tempered heavy cream into sauce. Cook 3 - 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.



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  • I keep hearing about 40 clove chicken, your version sounds delish! I wonder if I could use a whole chicken if I do it in a crock pot? I have no patience for baking whole chickens either, but I do like the flavor better.

  • nothing wrong with a little bit.. er, a lot of garlic! health benefits aplenty: great for the immune system, wards off colds/flu… vampires :)

  • wow that is a lot of garlic but can’t go wrong with that since garlic is practically good for you. The chicken alone looks yummy

  • Wow garlic is my favorite basic ingredient. I put them in everything, seriously. If a recipe calls for 2 cloves garlic, I use 4. :) This looks simply delicious!

  • Thanks everyone! Its nice to see so many other garlic lovers out there :) Wendy – You could certainly use a whole chicken, most 40 clove chicken recipes actually call for a whole chicken, I just prefer the drumsticks and thighs. Let me know how it turns out in the crock pot, I’ve never tried that before.

  • Lesley

    Regarding the breasts drying out, there is a solution. Cook the chicken breast side down. I’ve been doing this with my turkeys for years. The breast stays beautifully moist. It’s not quite as perky if you’re carving at the table but who cares as long as it tastes good?

  • Jen

    This was absolutely delish!!!!! I made it last weekend and could not believe how yummy it was. I served mine over a bed of mashed potatoes (cooked with chicken broth and with sauteed onions mixed in) and baked yellow squash with Parmesan and olive oil on the side. My husband and son were two happy campers and I will be making this again for sure!

  • kristan

    Sounds amazing! What is your secret for peeling garlic, it takes me forever to peel just a few and my hands smell for days! Also, what can I substitute for half and half as we have milk allergies in the family! Can’t wait to try!

  • Hey Kristan! I don’t have a huge secret when it comes to peeling garlic, I just smash the garlic with the knife and it peels a little easier. You could try doing it with thing gloves on that way it would keep your hands from smelling like garlic. I’m weird I like the smell ;) As far as the dairy thing goes you could substitute plain Silk creamer. Or a little coconut milk. Hope you enjoy it!

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