Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

1-Pot Stovetop 40 Clove Garlic Chicken! Chicken browned first in olive oil, then braised in white wine sauce with 40 cloves of garlic and thyme.

Garlic Chicken
Elise Bauer

Do like garlic?

Do you like chicken?

Then you'll love garlic chicken, a classic recipe of chicken parts that have been browned in olive oil, then cooked with white wine and garlic.

It's also known as "40 Clove Chicken" because that's how many garlic cloves you'll use to make the dish.

So, crazy right? 40 cloves?

Here's the thing. There's something about the browning and stewing of the garlic that completely mellows it out.

I've always had a hard time physically tolerating garlic, and especially raw garlic. But when this many cloves are cooked in this manner, it's not a problem.

Something similar happens when you roast garlic. The long cooking takes all the bite out of the garlic cloves and what you have left is just luscious delicious garlic-ness. Nothing coming through the pores. No having to avoid people who haven't eaten what you've eaten.

Garlic Chicken
Elise Bauer

The recipe is straightforward. It is all done on the stovetop and in one pan for easy cleanup.

The thing that can be daunting is peeling all the garlic!

Truthfully, you don't have to peel the garlic if you don't want to. They'll cook just as well in their peels, and they'll slide out of their peels easily once cooked. That said, most people I know don't want to deal with random bits of inedible garlic peels on their plate.

So, the easiest way to peel the garlic cloves is to lightly smash them (just enough to crack open the peel, not obliterate them) with side of a large chef's knife. Lightly smash all of them, then peel them. Here's a super-quick video showing how we do it.

This recipe has been updated. First published 2008.

Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

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

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


  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or breasts

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 3 whole heads garlic, cloves separated (40 cloves), peeled

  • Extra virgin 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 fresh thyme


  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.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Sauté the garlic:

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

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    Elise Bauer
  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.)


Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic - an oven roasted version from Marian Burros published in the New York Times

Garlic Chicken White Wine Sauce
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
532 Calories
23g Fat
8g Carbs
61g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 532
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 265mg 88%
Sodium 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 61g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 683mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.