Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I like to make this dish with chicken thighs, but any cut of chicken will do. If you choose to use a variety of white and dark meat, reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes. - Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
Course Main Dishes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 661kcal
Author Jan


  • 40 cloves garlic about 3 whole heads
  • 3-3.5 lbs chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream


  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  • Separate the cloves of garlic. This can be done up to 5 days in advance and stored in a lidded container in the fridge.
  • Thoroughly dry the chicken pieces with paper towels. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Sauté the chicken skin-side down until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. Do this in batches if necessary. Turn the chicken over with tongs and when a batch is done transfer the chicken pieces to a plate. Continue to cook the remainder of the chicken the same way.
  • Transfer the last of the chicken pieces to the plate, lower the heat and add the garlic to the pot, cooking it for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until it’s evenly browned.
  • Add the wine to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices that have collected on the plate, sprinkle the tarragon over the top, and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear.
  • Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pot and the flour to make a thick paste. Return the mixture to the pot and stir it back into the sauce. Add the cream and boil for 1-3 minutes or until thick. Check the seasonings and adjust if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.


To make in advance, put the chicken back in the pot after the sauce has been made, cover it and allow it cool before storing in the fridge. Slowly reheat the chicken before serving.
Inevitably the chicken skin softens when it cooks in the wine. If you prefer your finished pieces to be crispy, remove the reheated chicken pieces from the pot and place them on a baking sheet. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a platter and pour the warm sauce over the top, or serve it on the side.


Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 234mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 602mg | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2.3mg