Chicken in Garlic Sauce - Pollo al Ajillo

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr

4 servings

  • 12 large chicken thighs (about 4 pounds; see Note)
  • Fine sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned

I like to use chicken thighs here-they won't dry out during cooking. If you like white meat, go ahead and use it, just cook it a little less. A paella pan, with its wide and shallow shape, comes in handy for this dish. If you have a smaller Dutch oven, brown the chicken in batches and rotate the pieces as they simmer in the sauce so the pieces cook evenly.

Wash the chicken thighs and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add as many of the chicken thighs, skin side down, as will fit without touching.

Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 5 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat, leaving all the lovely brown bits behind. Return the pan to low heat, stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic starts to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Let it boil a minute or 2, then return the chicken to the pan skin side up. Reduce the heat to low, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan tightly and cook 20 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces (or rotate them top to bottom if using a smaller pan) and cook until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: If you like a mix of white and dark meat, substitute a 4-pound chicken cut into 10 pieces. Let the thighs, drumsticks, and wings cook in the sauce for 15 minutes before adding the browned breast pieces. If you'd like to use all white meat, cut the breasts in half crosswise, brown them as described above, but let the sauce cook down 10 to 15 minutes before adding the chicken breasts.

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    41 Reviews
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    This is a favorite in my house and it comes out perfect everytime. The only thing I add is some Goya seasoning packs
    My boy friend loved this, and he is PR.
    Easy for a weeknight meal! My husband loved this which is rare because he doesn't really care for chicken much!
    Dear Daisy 
    Thanks for the recipe. However 
    Canola Oil on a Spanish dish? No way! Extra virgin olive oil is the only way to go. 
    Canola oil is an artificial vegetable oil linked to hearth disease. Probably the most ubhealthy oil in the market. 
    I call this yumminess chicken! My husband is the chef in this house. He is Puerto Rican. He makes this with the Yellow Rice with Corn. It's a hit with my sister's family too! Her son even asked my husband to make it for his birthday dinner instead of my sister!
    Super yummy!!! We added more garlic (husbands Cuban, and you can use any chicken you want. It all comes out juicy!
    I cooked this meal and received positive feedback from a very picky family. My only suggestion is if you're using white meat chicken cut up, cut the final cooking time (in sauce) in half. It is very tender and delicious. I loved eating the garlic cloves. I will definitely make this again.
    This recipie is just average. It's good for a weeknight meal; had most of the ingridients in the pantry.
    My family enjoys this. I make it about every other month. It's quick, easy and tasty! I make extra sauce (sherry/broth) because we love to soak our rice with it. 
    Thanks, Daisy!
    Great flavor and very easy to make...loved it!!!
    I don't eat much chicken because am just tired of it. When i saw this episode, i decided to try it out because it looked so good! This dish was absolutely delicious! So much great flavor with the garlic and sherry and so, so, so juicy. I have made this twice so far. It is so easy and makes your kitchen smell like you've been cooking all day. My family loves it! Thanks Daisy!
    The chicken was not very flavorful to me. It was ok, but not something that I would definitely make again.
    This is the fourth time I've made this! Today, though, I'm finishing it in the crockpot. We'll see how it goes. Low and slow should make it just as moist as the quick method.
    We are not chicken lovers so I'm always on the look out for flavorful recipes.We hit the jackpot with this one. The thighs were moist and tender and I used the sauce left in the pan as a topper...... YUM!
    I absolutely love this recipe. One day I took some leftovers to work and EVERYONE wanted the recipe- now my co-workers make it for their families too. I have to admit I tried to take some short-cuts once, for instance I tried jarred garlic, cooking sherry and dried thyme...BIG MISTAKE. This recipe is perfection- as long as you follow the recipe:)
    I love this recipe. Have made it quite a few times for family and friends. I have neighbors in my development that have knocked on my door and ask what I am cooking. The aroma travels out to the lobby of the development.
    Daisy you are my Girl!!!! This dish is so flavorful. Each time I make it I try to up the portions because I just know leftovers would be even better. Have yet to try them because my husband and kids gobble it up!
    This was easy to make and even eaiser to eat!! I got lots of wows for the one!! This one is a keeper!!
    We really liked the flavors of this dish. The garlic gets sweet and the thyme is a perfect compliment to that. The only thing we didn't like is that is wasn't really a sauce and the chicken was dry.
    I prepared this with the Corn Rice, Ensalada, and Tostones for my Dominican husband and he LOVED IT! I am Persian, not hispanic, and my hubby said I prepared the entire dinner just like a spanish woman would. Beautiful meal and super easy! I love your food and your show Daisy! Thank you
    My family loved this chicken. I was leary about using so much garlic but the flavor mellows as it cooks. The chicken was moist and flavorful and delicious. The recipe was easy to follow and easy to make. Just watch your chicken to make sure it doesn't brown too much before you turn it. I served Arroz con crema along side and it was the perfect compliment to this meal.
    great recipe. easy to make and so tastey.
    My son's favorite chicken dish
    I found this recipe to be perfect for a busy weeknight. There are only 2 at home for me to cook for now, so it was easy to halve this recipe, and using boneless skinless chicken breasts cut down on the time and on the amount of fat grams for those like me who are watching their weight. I found it to be moist and very flavorful. I did use the full amount of liquid called for, however, so I would have plenty of sauce. Next time I will use all of the garlic called for in the full recipe as well as the full amount of thyme. Can't have too much of either one of those !!
    I made this recipe and my family was very pleased with the results. The sauce was tasty and the chicken was tender. Thanks, Daisy!
    This chicken is wonderful its has beautiful flavors very simple to make i hope everyone who tries this recipe enjoys it just like my family did.
    I found this recipe to be a little dry. The flavor was there but my chicken was dry at the end. I will try this recipe again and maybe add more chicken broth to keep it from drying up.
    I made this tonight for dinner and everyone loved it. While I was cooking, the aroma from the sherry, garlic, and thyme made my mouth water. This dish was so easy to make and so delicious. I'll definitely be making it again!
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