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Pollo al ajillo (Spanish garlic chicken) recipe

Pollo al ajillo (Spanish garlic chicken) recipe

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  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
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  • Garlic chicken

This quintessentially Spanish chicken recipe is easy to make and full of flavour. Serve over a green salad, or with rice or boiled potatoes.

8 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • flour for coating
  • 1 whole chicken, jointed and skin removed
  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bunches fresh basil, chopped
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 1 lemon

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Lightly coat the chicken in flour. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole over medium high heat. Fry the chicken in the oil till golden, working in batches so that you do not overcrowd the pan. Salt the chicken to taste. Once all of the chicken is browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the garlic and the basil to the same oil in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Return all of the chicken pieces to the pan, along with the white wine. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, add the juice of one lemon. Serve the chicken with its sauce.


Spanish garlic chicken

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (1)

by [email protected]

I used it with boneless skinless chicken breast and it turned out great! The wine helps keep things moist in the skillet. It was delicious!-20 May 2018

Spanish Garlic Chicken (Pollo al Ajillo)

Pollo al Ajillo is a Spanish version of garlic chicken. This recipe requires only 7 ingredients to make and is finger-licking good!


  • 3-½ pounds Chicken (whole), Cut Into Pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 10 cloves Garlic, Unpeeled, Soaked In Water To Soften The Skin
  • ½ cups White Wine
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Chopped Parsley, For Garnishing


Toss chicken pieces in a plastic bag with flour, salt, and pepper to coat.

In a big frying pan with a lid (it has to fit all the chicken in one layer), heat olive oil and add chicken pieces and garlic. Cook on both sides until chicken starts to brown.

Add wine and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover with a lid. Cook for about 25 minutes over low heat. When done, discard the bay leaves.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve the chicken with some wine and garlic sauce on top.

If using a whole chicken, joint it into 8 pieces and then cut any large joints in half to give you about 10–12 pieces. Leave the skin on. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan or casserole over a medium heat and add the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken on all sides until light golden this should take about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and continue to cook until the chicken has taken on a dark brown colour, about 10 minutes.

Add the sherry and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced right down to almost nothing. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

Spanish Garlic Chicken or Pollo Al Ajillo Recipe

According to "The New Spanish Table": What fried chicken is to the American South, pollo al ajillo is to central Spain. And as with fried chicken, arguments over how to make it best never end. The only consensus is the pollo al ajillo is best with french fries and a cool, frosty glass of beer.

  • spanish
  • chicken
  • garlic
  • white
  • wine
  • bake
  • spanish
  • spanish
  • chicken
  • garlic
  • white
  • wine
  • bake
  • spanish

Schedule your weekly meals and get auto-generated shopping lists.

  • 1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lb), cut into 16 to 18 pieces of roughly equal size, rinse, patted dry, and trimmed of all fat.--Have the butcher help you out, If you don't have a butcher, substitute 2 1/2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs.
  • Kosher or Sea salt
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the chicken, plus 1 tsp for the sauce
  • 12 whole unpeeled medium size garlic cloves, lightly smashed, and 10 large garlic gloves sliced
  • 1/2 dried small red chile, such as arbol, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tsp best quality red wine vinegar or more to taste
  • 3 TBSP minced fresh flat leaf or Italian parsley


  • 1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lb), cut into 16 to 18 pieces of roughly equal size, rinse, patted dry, and trimmed of all fat.--Have the butcher help you out, If you don't have a butcher, substitute 2 1/2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs. shopping list
  • Kosher or sea saltshopping list , for frying shopping list , for dusting the chicken, plus 1 tsp for the sauce shopping list
  • 12 whole unpeeled medium size garlic cloves, lightly smashed, and 10 large garlic gloves sliced shopping list
  • 1/2 dried small red chile, such as arbol, crumbled shopping list
  • 2/3 cup dry white wineshopping list
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock or brothshopping list
  • 2 tsp best quality red wine vinegar or more to taste shopping list
  • 3 TBSP minced fresh flat leaf or Italian parsleyshopping list

How to make it

  • Place the chicken in a bowl and rub it generously with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Pour olive oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a heavy oven proof 12 inch skillet and heat it over medium high heat until almost smoking.
  • Lightly dust the chicken pieces with flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Add the 12 whole garlic cloves to the skillet and stir to coat with the oil, 1 minute.
  • Working in two batches, cook the chicken until somewhat crisp and richly browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes per batch, adjusting the heat so that the oil doesn't burn.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned chicken pieces to a 12 inch earthenware cazuela or a baking dish of similar size.
  • Discard the whole garlic cloves. If the oil doesn't seem clean enough, pour if off, wipe the skillet, and add 2 to 3 tbsp fresh olive oil. If the cooking oil seems fine, pour off all but 3 TBSP of it.
  • Heat the skillet over low heat, add the 10 sliced garlic cloves, and cook until very fragrant and just beginning to color, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chile and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the 1 tsp flour and stir for about 20 seconds.
  • Add the wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil., stirring.
  • Season the sauce with salt to taste and pour it over the chicken.
  • Bake the chicken until its cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar and parsley, coating the chicken evenly with the sauce, and serve.
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Nice recipe, I suggest to don't use the last vinegar step as it will overlay the chicken flavour.
The potatoes for this disch are better fried as chips than frenchie style.

Garlic Chicken Recipe

In Spain this would be made with a whole chicken chopped up into small pieces. While it is tasty prepared in that way you tend to get some shattered bone in among the chicken and you can’t be sure which part of the chicken or how much each person is getting. My preference is to use whole drumsticks or thighs which means everyone gets the same amount of chicken and it is a bit less fiddly to eat.

The amount of chicken you use really depends on whether you want this as a tapa or a main course. If you are going to serve it as a tapa then i think this is a good recipe for 8 people and you should use drumsticks not thighs, as a main course this would be good for 4 people but depending on appetite and size of chicken pieces you may want to use 12 thighs or drumsticks.


Serves 4 people

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 750ml white wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Method

Put the flour on a large flat dish and coat the chicken pieces lightly on all sides – this flour is to thicken the sauce a little.

Place a flame proof casserole on a low heat and put the 4 tablespoons of olive oil into it. Cook the garlic slices gently in this oil until they are tender and golden which should take about 5 minutes. It is very important that they don’t burn so make sure you keep stirring them. Remove them with a slotted spoon and leave them on a small plate.

Keeping the casserole on a medium to high heat put in half the chicken pieces and fry until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove and keep them on a plate while you fry the other four chicken pieces. Once all the chicken has been fried like this put it all back into the casserole, season with salt and pepper and add the wine and chicken stock cube. If the chicken is not fully covered add cold water until it is. Add the bay leaves and the fried garlic and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, put the lid on the casserole and cook for an hour.

Taste the dish and add more salt if necessary. If the sauce seems too thick add a little water and if it is too thin dissolve some flour in cold water and mix it into the casserole.

Pollo al ajillo (Spanish garlic chicken) recipe

A punchy, quick dish to serve with potatoes Credit: Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

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S herry and garlic are the smells of Spain, of course, but not just because you smell them when you’re there. Sherry smells of warmth, and of complexity – it’s not a one-note ingredient – which backs up what I have felt about Spain as a country. If it’s not a dry one, it can be quite buttery with hints of caramel, especially once you reduce it. Here the sherry vinegar undercuts the sweetness while adding more depth and ‘woodiness’.

This makes an excellent quick dinner. Serve with olive-oil roast potatoes (cooked with either rosemary or thyme), or good bread and a green salad. I know it seems like a pain to keep the thighs on the bone – and in small pieces – but that’s what makes this dish taste so good.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Chicken Wings With Garlic and Paprika

Adapted from Ryland Peters & Small | Tapas and Other Spanish Plates to Share | Ryland Peters & Small, 2010

After making this outstanding chicken wings recipe more than once—lots more than once—we came to understand that certain instructions in the recipe be followed precisely in order to ensure finger-licking results. Here, the three most critical quirks: Rule 1. Use a large skillet. Cramming too many wings into a teensy pan all but ensures soggy skin. Rule 2. Don’t be tempted to light the brandy on fire, as is tradition with pollo al ajillo. (Just to be clear, we’re not sissies. We simply found the flavor to be superior without the drama.) Rule 3. Be prepared to stand at the stovetop, making batch after batch, seeing as they’re so good. Which brings us to our only complaint about this recipe, which you probably already guessed—that it doesn’t make more.–Renee Schettler

Garlic Chicken ( Pollo Al Ajillo) recipes

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Receta de Pollo al Ajillo con Jamón Serrano - Garlic Chicken with Serrano Ham Recipe

Divide the chicken into small pieces, splitting the thighs and breasts. Discard any trimmings like wing tips. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

In a casserole dish, preferably a cazuela, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic until golden. Remove and reserve.

Fry the chicken in hot oil until well browned and almost done, about 15 minutes.

Add the jamón, sherry, bay leaf, parsley, reserved garlic and a dash of paprika. Squash the garlic lightly to release the flavor. Add the chicken broth and cover for about 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken with some of the olive oil sauce along with quality bread.

Reviews (1)

August 2018

Adding this to my chicken recipe rotation as this dish is super flavorful and perfect for entertaining.

Pollo al Ajillo

After 2 1/2 hours of walking in the park, we arrived back at my house where we were famished. We prepared Pollo al Ajillo (Chicken with Garlic) following the recipe from the Moro Cookbook by Samuel and Samantha Clark, who run the fabulous Moro restaurant in London. You can find the recipe for Pollo al Ajillo by following this link. I love this recipe because it is so easy to make, does not take more than an hour from start to finish (including side dishes) and always looks like you have slaved in the kitchen for hours to prepare it. In sum, the ideal dish when inviting company for supper. I follow the recipe faithfully, except at the end. After removing the cooked chicken from my cast iron pot, I spoon out all the garlic from the sauce, remove the garlic from their skins and then put the garlic cloves back into the pot with the sauce. I then cook the sauce down for a few minutes while using a wooden spoon to smash the garlic cloves and blend them into the sauce. I’ve even taken a hand mixer to get a smoother sauce, but this is not really necessary as the pieces of garlic left in the sauce give a more rustic look. It’s up to you however. I highly recommend this recipe as well as the Moro Cookbook.


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Watch the video: Spanish Garlic Chicken. Pollo al Ajillo. Garlic Chicken. Spanish Food. Danyal Sohail.


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