Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

If using chicken breasts, cut them in half or in thirds.

Can use tarragon in place of some or all of the thyme.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated (40 cloves), peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc (can sub with chicken stock and a teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 6 large sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

1 Trim and salt the chicken: Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat. Sprinkle them lightly with salt. Let sit at room temp while you peel the garlic.

2 Peel the garlic cloves: Lightly smash the garlic cloves with the side of a heavy chef's knife, just enough to break the cloves. Peel.

3 Brown the chicken: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven (or a large thick-bottom pan with a tight fitting cover) on medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Lay the chicken pieces on the hot oil, do not move until browned, then turn over to other side using tongs. Remove from pan when browned.

garlic-chicken-method-1 garlic-chicken-method-2

4 Sauté the garlic: Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

garlic-chicken-method-3

5 Add the wine, thyme, chicken, cook until done: Add the wine and the sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side-up. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160-165°F.

garlic-chicken-method-5

6 Season with salt and pepper, serve with sauce: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken pieces to a platter; spoon garlic sauce over the chicken.

If you want, you can thicken the sauce with a little flour, cornstarch, or cream. As it is, it works great over rice, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes. (Skip starches for low carb option.)

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Comments

  • Brian

    This sounds great! Would it be possible to brown the chicken and make the sauce in a pan, and then add it all to a baking dish covered with foil, to finish cooking in the oven? Any ideas how i could accomplish that? Was thinking about cooking this for about 8 people, and dont have a big enough pan!

  • Paula

    I’m looking forward to trying this ASAP. It reminds me of one of my favorite Emeril recipes from the Food Network – Free Range Chicken in Vinegar, Lyon Style. Obviously there are some significant differences (no vinegar here) but in many ways the basic recipe is the same. It’s one of my all time favorite chicken recipes. I made it just the other night for my husband and myself and we polished off the entire dish in one sitting (in truth I cut the proportions down a bit). Don’t be skittish about the garlic. Elise is right when she says it’s mellow – and oh-so delicious!

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      And you can NEVER have too much garlic. I always peel garlic while watching a movie, it’s like my motivation for doing it in the first place. Garlic keeps you healthy, it’s actually antibacterial and antiviral. Love that stuff! It keeps you well. And the vampires away. This dish looks divine. Cannot wait to give it a whirl.

      • Mark

        Garlic is like onions…go overboard and you will have some nasty body odor for the next 24 hours of so…and no friends. If you suffer from IBS or are on a low fodmap diet, onions are garlic are to be avoided at all costs. I know a guy from work that whenever he went out for dinner, he would ask the waiter for extra garlic. I can tell you first hand, you did not want to be downwind from him the next day…even outdoors. There’s a good reason the vampires steer clear.

  • Wendy

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I used the rest of the chicken to make a broth that I then used for the butternut squash soup, also taken from your website. We served the dinner with mashed yukon gold potatoes and it was a big hit, even with our small kids. The flavor of the garlic was very good and not at all overwhelming. Great dish!!

  • Maria

    Elise,
    I am so glad that I stumbled across your site a few months ago. You are now my first choice when trying to find a recipe. Everything that I have tried has come out superb! This Garlic chicken was a HUGE hit! Thanks!

  • Sondra

    Made this yesterday and it was yummy! The only changes I made were cooking the garlic completely, adding the wine and herbs and reducing the sauce a bit before adding browned boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If I had cooked the chicken as directed it would have been like shoe leather. It was tender and tasty the way I did it — will probably become a frequent dinner for my family. THANKS!

  • Jen

    Is there an acceptable substitute for the white wine (non-alcoholic)? Grape juice doesn’t seem dry enough.

  • Jen

    I made it this weekend! Used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2-3 lbs) started on the stove. Transferred breasts and pan sauce w/ garlic to crock pot and let it go for several hours on a busy Saturday afternoon. We came home to a wonderful aroma and THE most delish dinner.

  • tastyeatsathome

    This dish was SO delicious. I loved the sauce. I served it with rice pilaf (from your site) and some steamed broccoli, and a little french bread on the side. And I subsequently used my bread to sop up as much of that sauce as possible. I’m sure I had garlic breath, but who cares, it was SO yummy. Thanks Elise!

  • Libby

    Hi! I’ve made this before with a small change–I cook the garlic in about 4 T of oil first until browned, then remove the garlic and brown the chicken in the garlic-flavored oil. Then add the garlic back into the pot with herbs and wine, cover, and cook on the stove or in the oven until done. Tasty!

  • Nate

    We’ve done the braised chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It’s a tasty recipe! We like to squeeze the soft garlic onto baguette slices – like buttah!

  • Tyleen

    This recipe is older than I am and that’s old. My sister-in-law’s Grandmother made this. She was given the recipe by a butcher at Petrini’s Market in San Mateo, California back in the 1940’s. It’s still in business. Great recipe!

  • Rachel

    This recipe was amazing… so simple, so delicious… and even better the next day! I loved eating the garlic pieces in the sauce. I’ll definitely make this again!

  • maggie

    Can this be made in a crock pot? If so, what is the cooking time?

  • Mary

    I tried this recipe this evening; it is really terrific. I didn’t have white wine so I used red. After it was done the garlic sections that were large enough were spread on lightly toasted french bread with Feta Cheese.

  • Happy

    For the non-alcoholics; I tried this first with wine to get a taste. Then again with white cranberry juice. Still tastes good but lacks the tummy warming of alcohol even with a pinch of cayenne. Also tried with white grape juice tastes just as good as the cranberry juice. When cooking for toddlers remove the garlic peel and put into a cheese cloth bag then stew the bag. Squeeze out every last drop of flavor from the bag when removing. Hope this helps. :)

  • Gretchen

    I’ve made a variant of this before, but I really liked the look of this version. I made the following changes based on what I had on hand:

    I substituted vermouth and broth for the white wine, because I didn’t have any wine and the herbal aroma of the vermouth seemed to complement the garlic and chicken.

    I had fresh oregano and lemon thyme, so I used that in place of the tarragon and thyme.

    I cooked it in the oven at 250F instead of the stovetop. After 45 minutes, the thighs were done and the breasts (which I’d put on top) were not, so I cycled the breasts to the bottom for another 20 minutes. I’d either increase cooking liquid and then reduce the sauce at the end (to remove the need to cycle the breasts) or try checking the temperature and cycling if necessary after 35 minutes next time. Or I’ll use the bigger dutch oven and see if I can get everything to fit on one layer.

    My husband is fussy about texture so I pulled the garlic skins out at the end, as well as deboned the chicken. I think it was worth the effort for the extra flavor from the bones and garlic skins, though next time I’d probably just run the sauce through a food mill rather than remove the skins by hand.

  • Becky

    INSANE!!! I love to cook and this was the easiest recipe for a great dinner I have done in a long time. I served it along side bow-tie pasta with roasted garlic alfredo sauce.

  • Richard

    Looks amazing! though I actually plan on only making this dish for 2, would you recommend just halving all the ingredients and keeping the cooking time the same? I’m a slight newbie in the kitchen but wanted a romantic gesture for my girlfriend.

    Yes, you can reduce the ingredients, but keep the cooking time the same. You might also just want to cook a whole recipe and keep the extra for leftovers. ~Elise

  • BC

    This is absolutely one of my most favorite chicken recipes. Very good! We serve egg noodles with the chicken and the sauce. I wonder if it would be good in a slow cooker?

  • KarenX

    I love this recipe. I found it by accident and I’ve made it a bunch of times. I always use chicken thighs, which I buy in bulk, and they fit nicely in my pan and they cook really well. What I’ve started doing is throwing in sliced white mushrooms about halfway through the saute garlic stage. So delicious. And the ratio of compliments to effort is high.

  • Stacy M

    This was a great dish. I finished it in the oven instead of the stove top and let it cook until it was “fall off the bone” tender. Delicious, simple and seems very forgiving and adaptable. Will definitely make again. Was nice enough for company – yet simple to make and would allow for plenty of time to entertain guests.

  • Tim

    This was absolutely delicious! I wasn’t balancing my time between the other dishes very well, so the sauce reduced a bit more than planned. It became a bit salty, but was still delicious. I would add more garlic, myself.

  • Cindy

    Any recommendations for a non-alcoholic substitute for the wine? (I’m pregnant.)

    You could use chicken stock with a little bit of lemon juice for acidity. ~Elise

  • Kelly from Almost Frugal

    This is a classic French recipe, and so delicious. When my (French) mother in law makes this, she serves it with creamy Gratin Dauphinois (like scalloped potatoes and steamed green beans. I love this recipe, however, even if the garlic does mellow out, you have to be a garlic fan to make it.

  • Marchel

    I make this dish on fairly regular basis. I lived in Spain for two years in the early eighties and this is considered a typical Spanish dish, however they also use lemon slices. You are correct, the worst part about the 40 cloves is counting them, the flavor they impart to the chicken is amazing and the garlic cloves squeezed onto a nice crusty bread is soooo wonderful. I usually make a rice and vegetable pilaf or zinfandel broccoli pasta to accompany.

  • Lindsay

    Love the crockpot idea, Jen! I will have to do that next time. This was delicious! It is more efficient to do switch the order of #1 & 2.
    My very picky husband devoured it and my 15 month old enjoyed the chicken too!

  • Steve McG

    I’ve made this in a similar fashion before. I used a small bunch of fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped. Everyone loved it! I made this using six chickens at once in large roasting pans for a dinner party and also roasted whole birds with this recipe, too. Still came out great.

  • Lauren

    I make a very similar dish to this. When it’s all done, I remove the chicken to the side, take about half of the garlic and puree it, then add it back into the sauce and simmer it to thicken it. I usually serve it over couscous with shallots and herbs.

  • JoAnn

    Mmmm, Mmmm…made this last night and used chicken thighs, homemade chicken stock, fresh lemon juice with the herbs and the GARLIC!!!
    I did bake it in a 350 degree oven uncovered and basted every 15 minutes which reduced the sauce. I would have used the wine because I love cooking with it but was out. I’m going to try this next time I have a house full of guests because its simple and Simply Delicious…both in smell and taste!!!

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I do like both and it is definitely wow – 40 cloves!

  • Brian R.

    The easiest way to peel garlic is to put the cloves in a jar and shake it. They will peel themselves.

  • Amanda

    I’m making this for dinner tonight and it smells great in here while everything is covered and simmering. I’ve always enjoyed cooking recipes from your site and they always turn out great. Thank you for sharing them!
    I did notice in the pictures that you peppered the chicken before browning but he recipe says to only salt. I didn’t notice before I browned mine but it’s no a big deal :)

  • Chad

    I make a whole baked chicken also with 40 cloves of garlic I think this looks better.

  • [email protected] travers

    One of my all time favorites. I serve it with a gratin dauphinois and green beans. Sometimes, I add mushrooms as well and a bit of cream.

  • Bebe

    I understand that some don’t want alcohol Anywhere In The House, but for those who just don’t want alcohol in their food, doesn’t the alcohol cook off? Evaporate? I have always understood that it does, just leaving the good flavor behind. ???

  • Bebe

    A similar recipe – with mushrooms and artichoke hearts – is in the classic San Francisco Junior League Cookbook. Not quite as much garlic, but additional garlic would be good.

  • Renee

    Sounds luscious! I have made this type of chicken before, and it’s lovely. Thanks for posting this one on your blog!

  • Joe breda

    Use white wine,garlic ,and rosemary instead

  • Dave

    Worst gas ever from this, maybe it was just me, but my co-workers couldn’t stand being around me.

  • Kevin Sullin

    I made this exact to the recipe and it was truly outstanding! I shared it with my foodie peeps at The Test Kitchen! Excellent job Chef Elise! This was one of the best chicken dishes I have ever eaten! Respect!

  • Kelhappy1

    This was amazing. The chicken was really flavorful and tender. I made this with parmesan orzo and roasted cauliflower on the side. The garlic was really good on a baguette. My husband and kids enjoyed this recipe. Simple and delicious.

  • AMM

    This was absolutely delicious and will make again. Recipe is so easy,I know it by heart. I added mushrooms and use eggplant garlic because I didn’t want to clean the garlic, I saved lots of time. Eggplant garlic is just huge cloves of mild garlic. I sliced them and roasted them. It is a beautiful dish and excellent natural flavors. You will love it.

  • George

    Looks delish!I am gonna make soon.
    Thanks for the recipe

  • Felicia

    Wow! This recipe turned out so amazing! I paired with pasta and sliced peppers. The sauce was just perfect-I put it all over the whole plate! I will definitely be saving this recipe for multiple uses.