Does 40 cloves of garlic seem excessive? Not when you roast it! Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a One-Pan Meal that is bursting with incredible flavor.
Crispy skinned, always-juicy, chicken thighs are roasted in the oven with mouth watering, sweet roasted garlic cloves and dry white wine with fresh herbs that infuse the chicken with amazing flavor and create a truly decadent cream sauce. Serve it with pasta if you wish, but definitely don’t forget a loaf of crusty, french bread to smear with the roasted garlic cloves and to soak up all the luscious sauce.
When I first heard of this classic, Provençal dish made famous by James Beard, I was intrigued. I ADORE roasted garlic. My favorite pizza flavor is roasted garlic and wild mushroom and I think roasted garlic smeared on crusty, french bread is an amazing appetizer. So I began researching recipes and taste testing different variations. Food blogging is such hard work:)
There are a lot of versions and methods out there, and after some experimentation, here is what I liked best and and why this worked for me.
Roasting, as opposed to braising, yields a delightfully golden, crispy skin. Braising produced a tender, flavorful piece of chicken but the skin was white and flabby and just generally unappealing. Using only thighs, especially that are bone-in and skin-on, kept the chicken juicy. It’s much harder to overcook thighs then breasts. The consistent size also produced a consistent result over whole leg quarters, although that does work as well.
I did not care for an excessive amount of lemon juice, although a squeeze at the end or a garnish of zest is tasty. The wine imparts an incredible flavor. And finishing with cream at the end? Definitely!
Don’t be intimidated by the volume of garlic in this recipe. I know it can sound like a lot, but when it’s roasted, it’s transformed to this mild, slightly sweet earthy fabulous flavor.
Don’t want to peel 40 cloves? Me either!
40 cloves is about 3 heads of garlic. Separate the cloves from the head and place in a bowl. Fit another bowl over the top of the first and shake VERY vigorously for several minutes.
Most of the papery peels will either come off entirely or at least loosen so they can be picked off easily. Pre-peeled garlic is also available at some grocery stores.
To make Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic, start by dusting flour, salt, and pepper on the chicken thighs. Brown them in a dutch oven or large saute pan in a combination of olive oil and butter. This can be done in 2 batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan.
The olive oil and butter combination is one of my favorite ways to saute and brown meat and veggies. Done at a relatively high heat, the butter foams and browns and imparts a deeper, nutty flavor to the dish.
Make sure the saute pan or dutch oven you choose has a tight fitting lid that you will use when the chicken goes into the oven. Below are the two I use.
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After the thighs are browned, remove them to a plate. Reduce the amount of drippings in the pan, if necessary, to 1-2 tablespoons. Saute the whole garlic cloves in the leftover oil for 2-3 minutes until they have started to soften and brown.
Next, deglaze the pan with a dry white wine. Add fresh parsley and thyme and let it cook until the liquid reduces by half, making sure to scrap up all the little bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Wine Note: Use the wine you would like to serve with your finished dish. I frequently choose a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because it cooks well and I really enjoy drinking it, but any dry white (that is not the nasty stuff called Cooking Wine) will work.
Stock over broth? Yes! Stock has a deeper depth a flavor due to how long it is cooked for and the fact that it is cooked with the bones and marrow. Also stock is not salted as opposed to a broth or bouillon which usually is.
Add the chicken and garlic cloves to the wine and stock, skin side up, making sure there is garlic both under and on the chicken. Cover with the tight fitting lid. Bake, tightly covered, in the oven for 20 minutes and then remove the lid for the remaining 20-30 minutes.
The first covered 20 minutes infuses the chicken with the garlic and wine flavor and the second 20-30 minutes lets the chicken skin and garlic cloves roast and become crisp and caramelized.
Remove from the oven and place the chicken thighs and about half the garlic cloves on a plate. Tent loosely with foil.
Return the pan to the stovetop and bring the sauce to a low simmer, picking out any thyme stems.
Mix a tablespoon of room temperature butter with a tablespoon of flour to form a smooth paste in a medium sized bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of the hot sauce and whisk together. Then whisk the flour mixture into the simmering sauce along with a 1/2 cup of cream and let cook for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce and cook the flour.
It’s ok and even desired for some of the garlic cloves to be mushed/whisked into the sauce. Stir in more fresh parsley, reserving a pinch for garnish. Place the chicken thighs back into the pan and top with the reserved garlic cloves. Serve with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes if desired. Don’t forget a loaf of crusty bread to smear your garlic cloves on and to wipe up every last drizzle of sauce.
This is a rich and luscious dish. Make sure your vegetable side has a bit of acid to really balance the meal. My Oven Roasted Asparagus with a squeeze of lemon juice is a perfect side. Arugua or field greens simply dressed with a vinaigrette or lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper is also another great choice.
If you loved my Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic, make sure you leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Chicken & Garlic
- 6-8 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon course kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 40 cloves garlic, peel/papers removed about 3 heads
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley 1 tablespoon dried
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Wash and pat dry chicken thighs. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat a large saute pan or dutch oven that has a light fitting lid to a medium to medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and butter. When butter foams and starts to brown, add chicken thighs skin side down. The chicken should sizzle when touching the oil.
- Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook and additional 1-2 minutes.
- While chicken is browning, separate the garlic cloves from the garlic head and place in a large bowl.
- Fit another bowl over the first and shake vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Remove peels/papers from cloves.
- Remove browned chicken from pan. Drain excess drippings, if necessary, until about 2 tablespoons remain.
- Saute garlic cloves in the drippings for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften and brown. Remove cloves to the plate with the chicken.
- Add the wine, parsley, and thyme to the pan, making sure to scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom. Cook at a low simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the stock and bring temp up to a low boil. Turn off burner and add the chicken, skin side up, along with the garlic cloves making sure there is garlic both under and on top of the chicken thighs. The majority of the skin on the thigh should be above the liquid in the bottom of the pan.
- Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in preheated oven. Bake covered for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and skin and exposed garlic are golden.
- Remove pan from oven and place chicken thighs and about half the garlic cloves on a plate loosely tented with foil.
- Place the pan back on the burner and bring liquid to a low simmer.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour and butter into a smooth paste. Add 1/2 cup of the hot liquid and whisk to combine until smooth. Add the flour mixture and the cream to the boiling liquid, whisking to combine.
- Simmer for 3-5 minutes to thicken sauce and cook flour. Taste test the sauce to check seasoning. A small amount of salt and pepper may be desired.
- Stir in fresh parsley reserving a pinch for garnish.
- Serve with sliced crusty bread, mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta if desired.