40 Clove Garlic Chicken is a baked chicken recipe, with 40 cloves of garlic, white wine, thyme, rosemary and a little cream. This comfort food classic is perfect for Sunday supper.
Whether you call it 40 cloves of chicken, chicken with 40 cloves or chicken with garlic sauce, this recipe is a classic. It’s rustic, hearty, full of flavor and the epitome of comfort food.
Basically it is a chicken with garlic sauce. The browned chicken is baked on a bed of 40 cloves of garlic until perfectly cooked and tender. Then a touch of cream is added to the pan juices and poured over the chicken.
Yep that’s right, 40 cloves of garlic. That’s two, or in some cases, three entire heads of garlic. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But that’s not all. This recipe also has chicken, white wine, chicken stock and herbs. To top it off, a splash of cream is added at the end.
All of this makes a deliciously creamy garlic sauce, perfect for pouring over chicken.
Winner winner chicken dinner indeed.
As a garlic lover, I wanted to try Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic ever since I first read about it in The Garlic Lover’s Cookbook. It was a birthday present when I was 17.
My garlic love runs deep, friends.
It has taken me a few tries to get this recipe just right but I have perfected it in all of it’s rustic comfort food glory. And with my tips and step by step instructions, you’ll perfect this classic too.
STEP #1: Pat the chicken dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Note: For this recipe, I used chicken drumsticks but you can use a mixture of chicken thighs and drumsticks. You can also use a whole cut up chicken if you’d like a mixture of white and dark meat.
STEP #2: Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven (or other oven-proof pot). Cook the chicken, in batches, until browned. You want to cook it in batches so you do not over crowd the pan.
DES’ TIP: If you try to turn the chicken and it doesn’t turn or the skin starts to stick, leave it a minute or so longer. The chicken will easily turn when the skin is seared.
STEP #3: In the same pan that you cooked the chicken in, sauté the garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cook until the garlic starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
STEP #4: Return the chicken to the pot and pour wine and chicken broth over the top.
STEP #5: Cover the chicken and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10 minutes.
DES TIP: To get the skin crispy, you can turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes.
STEP #6: Put pot back on the stove and remove the chicken from the pan to a serving platter. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and slowly whisk in tempered cream.
Cook just until the sauce is thickened, 3 – 5 minutes, and then pour over the chicken.
DES’ TIP: To temper cream simply whisk in one tablespoon of the hot liquid into the cold cream. This will help prevent the cream from curdling when added to the sauce.
If you are looking for side dishes to serve along side your Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, here are some of my favorites:
Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Garlic lover too? Here are some of my most popular garlic recipes:
Note: This post was originally written and posted in 2009. It was updated with new tips, step by step photos and nutrition facts in 2020.
LeeJanuary 23, 2023 at 6:28 am
This is a delicious recipe but I TRIPLE the sauce when making with 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. The recipe just doesn’t make enough of this lovely sauce. I’m thinking about making the sauce only when we still have leftover turkey but have run out of gravy (which is inevitable) after next year’s Thanksgiving.
DesereeJanuary 27, 2023 at 8:45 pm
Happy to hear that you enjoy the sauce so much, Lee!
Doreen PendgracsAugust 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm
As a true garlic lover, I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!
kristanOctober 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm
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!
DesereeOctober 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm
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!
JenFebruary 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm
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!
LesleyJanuary 22, 2010 at 2:46 am
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?
DesereeJanuary 21, 2010 at 7:25 am
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.
Sook @ My Fabulous RecipesJanuary 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm
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!
JessieJanuary 20, 2010 at 10:35 am
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
Kitchen Monki DanJanuary 20, 2010 at 9:03 am
nothing wrong with a little bit.. er, a lot of garlic! health benefits aplenty: great for the immune system, wards off colds/flu… vampires :)
Wendy (The Local Cook)January 20, 2010 at 8:38 am
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.