40 Garlic Chicken––or more fancy-like…Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic––is a classic French dish that yes, does involve adding a mind boggling amount of garlic to one chicken dish. The first time I tried it, however, I was surprised at how…not all that garlicky it was. After braising with the chicken, the garlic had a super mellow, sweet flavor that wasn’t at all like the spicy, pungent taste you might get from it when it’s raw (which I happen to also love. Exhibit A: 15-Minute Hot Oil Noodles).
I decided to take a traditional 40 garlic chicken, which may conjure images of pastoral landscapes, ceramic milk jugs, and all other manner of rustic French provencal mise en scène, and Asianify it a little, which I happen to enjoy doing immensely. Truth be told, I didn’t have enough vermouth to make the real thing and decided to substitute some of it with Shaoxing wine. I thought, “eh, why not get crazy and throw a little soy sauce in there while I’m at it?” Which I promptly did. And because I didn’t have any parsley or thyme, I ended up using cilantro to garnish the dish at the very end. And so it was.
You’ll want to try this one.
If, by any chance, you don’t much look forward to the prospect of peeling 40 cloves of garlic, I’ll have you know that I did it. I stood there with my knife and my increasingly garlicky fingers, smashing and peeling all 40 cloves (well, 38. I happen to not like the number 4. Which is a dislike instilled in me from a young age by Chinese grandparents. Don’t ask.). After the fact, however, I discovered this video, which shows you how to peel it all in less than 10 seconds. And then I was mad.
But not too mad, because I had a lovely dinner to look forward to.
40 Garlic Chicken Recipe Instructions
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Rinse the chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on each side until crisp. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken and transfer to the oven.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, and garnish with cilantro if desired.
Serve this Asian style 40 garlic chicken with a green vegetable and white rice on the side!
The garlic in this 40 clove garlic chicken taste caramelized, mellow and very flavorful!
If you prefer using boneless chicken thighs, see our post on How to debone skin-on chicken thighs and adjust/reduce cooking times accordingly.
40 Garlic Chicken with an Asian Twist
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Rinse the chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on each side until crisp. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Transfer the chicken to a deep roasting pan or baking dish and set aside. Add the garlic cloves and ginger to the pan where you cooked the chicken; cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and vermouth, and cook for another 2 minutes, deglazing the pan as you go. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken and transfer to the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, and garnish with cilantro.