40 clove garlic chicken on a plate with broccolini.

40 Clove Garlic Chicken | Table for Two® by Julie Chiou

40 Clove Garlic Chicken | Table for Two® by Julie Chiou

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40 clove garlic chicken on a plate with broccolini.

40 Clove Garlic Chicken is one of those classics that every home chef needs to have in their playbook. Crispy-skinned chicken thighs are finished in a silky-smooth, creamy sauce loaded with the flavor of no less than 40 cloves of garlic. Amazing!

Imagine this. A smooth, creamy sauce exploding with the flavor of 40 cloves of garlic drizzled over a juicy, succulent bone-in chicken thigh with perfectly crispy skin. It’s hard not to swoon a bit, isn’t it? This simple chicken dish is nothing short of perfect. The sauce will have you spooning it out of the pan before it even makes it to the chicken and the crispy-skinned chicken itself is simply seasoned and perfectly executed, serving as a succulent canvas for the flavor explosion of a sauce that gives this dish its name.

Why You’ll Love 40 Clove Garlic Chicken

Stop what you’re doing right now and give this recipe a try. Here are just a couple of reasons why I am positive it’s going to rock your world.

  • Flavor explosion. When you roast garlic, it develops this wonderfully savory, almost sweet flavor that you can’t really get anywhere else. It’s not a sugary sweet. It’s a caramelized, cooked-down kind of sweet. Yum!
  • Creamy. Adding a bit of heavy cream to the sauce gives it this luscious, silky-smooth, creamy texture that carries all of that savory-sweet garlic flavor over your taste buds like a dream.
  • Juicy, juicy chicken. Searing the chicken at the beginning of the cooking process really seals in its natural juices. And then finishing it in such a luscious, creamy sauce turns out some of the juiciest, most succulent poultry you’ve ever experienced.
Ingredients for 40 clove garlic chicken.

What You’ll Need

Time to gather your ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make this 40 clove garlic chicken. Scroll on down to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Skin on chicken thighs – You could use boneless skinless thighs or breasts instead. Just note that the cook time may vary. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Butter – I like using unsalted butter. You can always add more salt later.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – The garlic is really the star here. You’ll be using whole cloves. Don’t forget to peel them! I also like to smash mine a bit. The flavor will infuse into the sauce better.
  • White wine – I used a Sauvignon Blanc, but any dry white wine will do well.
  • Dried thyme – Fresh thyme would also work here. You’ll want to use about 2 tablespoons.
  • All-purpose flour – A 1:1 gluten-free flour will also work.
  • Dark brown sugar – You could use light brown sugar but it won’t bring the same depth of flavor.
  • Heavy cream – The heavy cream adds a wonderful richness to the sauce.
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make 40 Clove Garlic Chicken Thighs

Here’s a basic overview of how to make these succulent, garlicky chicken thighs. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more thorough instructions.

  • Prepare the chicken. Pat the chicken dry and season it with salt and pepper.
Searing chicken in a pan.
  • Brown the chicken. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the chicken for 5 minutes on either side (skin-side-down first). Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  • Saute the garlic. Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven and then add the garlic. Saute until golden brown.
  • Deglaze. Add the wine, turn up the heat, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven to loosen up the brown bits.
Seared chicken thighs simmer in a white wine-garlic sauce.
  • Put it all together. Return the chicken and its juices to the Dutch oven and sprinkle the thyme on top.
  • Simmer. Turn the heat to low, put the lid on the Dutch oven, and simmer for 30 minutes. Then, transfer the chicken to a serving plate.
Thickening the sauce for 40 clove garlic chicken.
  • Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of the liquid from the Dutch oven. Pour it all back into the Dutch oven and whisk until the liquid thickens. Whisk in the dark brown sugar and heavy cream. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put it all together. Spoon sauce and garlic over the chicken and serve warm.
Overhead image of 40 clove garlic chicken served on a plates with broccolini.

Tips for Success

Want to get this recipe for 40 clove garlic chicken thighs right the first time? Follow these pro tips and you’ll have everyone asking you where you went to culinary school.

  • Don’t crowd the pan. When browning the chicken, it is important to give each piece plenty of room to breathe in the Dutch oven. Otherwise, it won’t caramelize properly. Brown the chicken in batches if need be.
  • Scrape up those brown bits. When you pour the white wine into the Dutch oven and turn up the heat, really get in there with a wooden spoon and scrape up those brown bits (left behind by the chicken) on the bottom of the pan. They contribute SO much flavor to the sauce.
  • Use pre-peeled garlic. Seriously, folks. Peeling 40 cloves of garlic is an absolute pain. Grab a bag of pre-peeled garlic from your local grocery store (Costco has a great deal on them) and you will be so much happier.
  • Keep it moving. When sauteing the garlic, stir constantly to prevent it from burning.
  • Be patient. Let the sauce thicken up after adding the slurry of flour and cooking juices back to the Dutch oven. It will only take a couple of minutes but if you cut that time short, you’ll find yourself with a watery, less-than-satisfying sauce.
40 clove garlic chicken served on a plates with broccolini.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To store. Once the chicken has cooled completely, transfer it (along with the sauce) to an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat. Allow the chicken to thaw in the fridge (if frozen) before transferring it to a baking dish. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until heated through. You can also microwave individual portions of chicken in 30-second intervals until warm.
40 clove garlic chicken served on a plates with broccolini.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

I’m a big chicken fan. It’s such a versatile protein! Here are some of my other favorite ways to prepare it.

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  • Pat the chicken dry on both sides with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down to the pan. Do it in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. You want the skin to have a nice color to it. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes on one side, flip then cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large bowl and repeat until all chicken has cooked.

  • Once all the chicken has browned, lower the heat then add the olive oil and all the garlic and sauté the garlic for 5-10 minutes until golden. You’ll want to constantly stir otherwise the garlic will burn.

  • Add the wine, turn up the heat, and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to get up the browned bits. Return the chicken to the pot, with the liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the thyme over top, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • After 30 minutes, remove the chicken and place on a plate.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pan. Pour back into the pan and whisk until the liquid thickens. Finally, whisk in the dark brown sugar and heavy cream. Turn off the heat. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Spoon sauce mixture and garlic over the plated chicken.

  • Serve hot with rice or vegetables.

*Highly suggest buying pre-peeled garlic to save you time!

Serving: 1serving (243 grams), Calories: 555kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 196mg, Sodium: 172mg, Potassium: 507mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.