Pollo al Ajillo – Chicken with Garlic

Well, it’s been quiet around the blog for the last week or so. But for good reason. We’re in England with family visiting from Spain and we’ve been having a wonderful time doing family and tourist things, walking our feet off, talking our heads off and eating and drinking far more than is probably necessary…but such fun!  As a little reminder of Spain, here’s a Spanish dish which is equally good for an informal meal or a special event, Chicken with Garlic.

Ajo (the “j” is pronounced like the “ch” in the Scottish word Loch) means garlic and ajillo translates as “little garlic” which is ironic as this dish contains plenty of garlic! It’s a simple cooking technique which is used with various meats in Spain and is served as both a main dish and as a tapas (usually with the meat cut into bite sized pieces). Don’t let the simplicity of this dish trick you into believing it doesn’t taste special, it packs a lot of flavour and because it can be prepared ahead and in large quantities, it’s a fantastic dish for entertaining.


Pollo al Ajillo (1)

To serve 6 people

  • 1 whole chicken cut into joints (or use individual joints)
  • 1 head of garlic, about a third of the cloves peeled and cut into thin slices, the rest left in their paper skins
  • Olive oil
  • A glass of fino or white wine
  • A few sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  • Seasoning

Pollo al Ajillo (3)

Season the chicken then fry in a little oil until browned all over. Now add all the garlic, the rosemary and the wine, reduce to a gentle bubble and cover with a lid. Cook for about an hour (turning a couple of times during cooking) until the chicken is cooked through). Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and serve with plenty of bread to mop up the juices.

For another, more elaborate, chicken dish, why not take a look at my recipe for Pollo en Pepitoria?


64 thoughts on “Pollo al Ajillo – Chicken with Garlic

  1. Fantastic Tanya – I need a couple of new chicken dishes to try. These both look wonderful and packed full of flavour. Particularly keen on dishes that require bread alongside to mop up the juices. Yum!

  2. Thanks for this yummy sounding recipe, Tanya. Perfect for dinner tonight. I eat chicken regularly and I’m always looking for different recipes.
    Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful family time – celebrating special birthdays and all. And a happy birthday to “you know who” on Monday.

  3. Simple and delicious! The kind of recipe one first thinks of after a busy day when one wants to sit at the table and say ‘mmmh’ 🙂 !

      1. I’m here to report great success – made it last night, and wished I had room for more … Luckily I had enough for another meal and popped it into the freezer before midnight snack time put paid to that plan! 🙂

  4. My folks and Pete have just left from being here for the last 3 weeks so feel the excitement of you with your visitors.
    Lovely supper meal with some mash and peas on the side for me I thinks.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  5. I reckon that this might just be one of those recipes that relies on the chook. I doubt that just removing it from the recipe would give me any degree of satisfaction so I will wave like Mr Grace from “Are you being Served” from the sidelines and say “You’ve all done very well!” and watch from the sidelines 🙂

      1. (how did she know that my knicker elastic was broken?!!! Better put a double layer on my tin-foil hat STAT!)

      2. (HOLY CRAP! I knew it…I had best get out the industrial tinfoil for this one AND get it blessed…better put that on the shopping list “get tinfoil hat blessed”…)

  6. Bookmarked it for the next time my non-chicken-eating daughter is dining out. Looks and sounds very tasty.

  7. Chicken, wine, rosemary, and a ton of garlic. What’s not to love, Tanya? I’ve been cooking this dish, or something very similar, for years and never knew it to be Spanish in origin. That was Then. Now, I’ll serve this dish and impress my dinner guests with my knowledge of both Spanish language and cuisine. If they’re not impressed, I’ll spill something on them. I run a disciplined dinner party. 😀

    1. It’s good to be in control at a dinner party otherwise people start drinking too much wine, singing songs and wearing serviettes on their heads…ooops, I think that might just be mine! I think the Italians probably also have a claim on a pretty similar dish…and maybe the French and Portuguese too 😉

      1. I remember having something similar served by a friend whose family were Hong Kong Chinese 🙂 either way it sounds a treat. I’m onto the last of the home grown garlic, and can’t wait for the new seasons crop in June, but wait I will …..

  8. If my comment appears twice just omit one. Your chicken dish sounds great. Garlic mellows as it cooks so you can never have too much as far as I’m concerned.

  9. Chicken is often on the menu in our kitchen, I love having a new way to prepare it that is very different from anything I’ve tried before! I’m excited to give this recipe a go!! Enjoy your time with your family and relatives!! I’ve been quiet on my blog as well and am so happy to be back reading and visiting everyone!! xx

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