Braised Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Braised Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
For decades cooks have been making Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic like this: separate a couple of heads of garlic into cloves, stuff them into a chicken’s cavity, and then roast for an hour or so. Enclosed in the chicken pouch and its own papery casing, the garlic essentially stews during roasting and you end up with flavorful roast chicken and sweet tender garlic.

Enter boneless, skinless chicken thighs and peeled garlic and the new Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic goes like this: brown chicken thighs, sauté garlic, add wine, broth, and potatoes, and simmer. The results are similar: flavorful chicken and sweet tender garlic. But there are potatoes and stewy juices… and leftovers!

Most of us would only attempt the original Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic on the weekend. This new version is just as comforting and completely doable on a weeknight.

Weeknight, weekend, doesn’t matter. This is my new Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic!

Braised Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Serves: 6

  • 3 pounds (about 8 medium) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 40 peeled garlic cloves, left whole
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 new red potatoes, rinsed and halved
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  1. Heat a large (11- to 12-inch) deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss chicken thighs with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken, skin side down, to hot skillet. Cook until well browned, about 7 minutes. Turn and cook until they lose their raw color on second side, a minute or two longer. Return to bowl; set aside.
  2. Add garlic to skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in flour, followed by wine and then broth Return chicken to skillet, along with potatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve.

You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves for the sprigs of fresh.


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  1. sandy oldfield says

    pam, this looks like a great recipe but i’m confused — the recipe touts BONELESS chicken thighs but the ingredient list calls for BONE-IN thighs???

    • says

      Silly me, Sandy! I DID develop this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs, but clearly either would work. Just use the same number of boneless, skinless chicken thighs as bone-in (8). Good catch!

    • says

      Although it wouldn’t be as tender as chicken thighs, I think you could use boneless pork loin, but I’d cut it into thick slices. Try to get the portion of loin nearest the shoulder, it’s not as lean and won’t cook up as dry.

  2. says

    I made this the other night and it was great! I make the whole chicken with 40 cloves often but we really like the thighs best and it is only 2 of us. This is a sure winner and will replace my original recipe that I have used for years. Thanks!

  3. rokt says

    I made this last weekend for my extended family (I had to 1 1/2x the recipe) and it was excellent. It also made me look like a “fancy cook” which was a plus. Thanks!

  4. Claudia says

    I don’t know much about wines. What type is a dry wine? I like Reisling, but I don’t think that’s a dry wine.

  5. Marijane says

    This recipe sounds delicious! In answer to Claudia’s question: I usually use sauvignon blanc when cooking. It’s dry and there are a lot of reasonably priced ones out there that are quite good enough to cook with, and drink! Julia Child liked to use dry white french vermouth. I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure if it was good enough for her, it would be great.

  6. says

    Looks great – going to try this tonight. I was looking for a healthier version of this recipe. Your recipe is conflicting though. It says it’s for “boneless, skinless chicken thighs” but then the recipe itself calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I’m going to do it with the boneless, skinless ones. Hope it turns out OK. I imagine the cooking times might be a little off so I’ll watch it closely. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Beth, It should have been boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I’ve corrected the recipe, but the time should have been accurate. Plus unlike breasts, thighs are so much more forgiving!

  7. Cheryl says

    I also noticed recipe directions says “skin side down”. Is skin suppose to be removed after? Red potatoes or Yukon gold?

  8. Patty says

    Love the update on this classic recipe. Appreciate the simple prep, but big flavor, for weeknights. Really happy I read the comments because I’m also a big KitchenAid fan and was thinking about getting a second crock pot. Did not know they make one. So I’ll be checking them out. Just made my very first QVC purchase, which is my 2nd KA food processor. Thought it woud be nice to have a different size and it had the

  9. Patty says

    Small bowl insert. My first one was made in France. I noticed this new one is not. Hoping it is the same high quality.

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