Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs

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Quick Summary

This Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe with a simple garlic cream sauce is the perfect chicken dinner for easy weeknights or entertaining. Everyone loves this juicy chicken dish and it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

chicken thighs with cream sauce in skillet with spoon.

I have a winner, winner chicken dinner for you! This Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe is a family favorite and takes less than 30 minutes to make!

We make this chicken recipe all of the time because it is so simple and the chicken is SO juicy. It turns out perfect every single time.

If you don’t cook with chicken thighs very often, you have to give them a try. Thighs are versatile, full of flavor, and absolutely delicious. They stay super juicy, no matter how you cook them. Plus, they are usually less expensive than chicken breasts.

For this recipe, we season the chicken thighs with a simple spice rub and cook them in a hot cast iron skillet. We also whisk together a simple garlic cream sauce to serve with the chicken. The sauce is INCREDIBLE, don’t be embarrassed if you lick every last drop off of your plate. It happens all of the time:)

This one-skillet chicken meal is the BEST! Make it for dinner tonight. I guarantee it will be a regular meal at your house.

chicken thighs in cast iron skillet with spice rub.

Key Ingredients

The ingredients are simple, but put them all together and you will end up with the most amazing chicken dinner!

  • Chicken thighs– you will need about 1 ½ pounds of chicken. You can use skin-on or skinless chicken thighs, whatever you prefer. Chicken thighs with the skin will have more flavor and the skin will get nice and crispy. Technically, you can use chicken breasts, but we recommend thighs because they are juicier.
  • Spices– onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika create a great rub for the chicken.
  • Olive oil– for cooking the chicken.
  • Butter– to create a rich and delicious sauce.
  • Shallot– look for shallot by the garlic at the grocery store.
  • Garlic– for flavor!
  • Chicken broth– for the sauce. You can also use white wine.
  • Lemon juice– to brighten up the sauce.
  • Thyme– fresh thyme goes so well with the chicken.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes– for a little heat.
  • Heavy cream– to finish the sauce, don’t skip it! It takes the sauce to the next level.
  • Parsley– for garnish!
cream sauce in cast iron skillet.

How to Make Skillet Chicken Thighs

  • Use a paper towel to pat the chicken thighs dry. Don’t skip this step! You want to remove excess moisture so the chicken will brown and crisp up nicely.
  • In a small bowl, combine the spices, salt, and black pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken thighs, on both sides.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Place chicken thighs skin side down in the hot skillet and cook, until skin is crispy about 5 minutes, flip chicken thighs and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add the butter, shallot, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce thickens up a bit.
  • Place the chicken back in the pan with the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Serve the chicken warm with the sauce.
easy skillet chicken thighs in skillet with cream sauce.

Side Dish Suggestions

We highly recommend serving the skillet chicken thighs with crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up all of that delicious sauce. If you want a few other side dish ideas, here are a few of our favorites.

How to Store & Reheat

Leftover chicken thighs will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, preheat the oven to 325°F and place the chicken in an oven safe dish. Cover with foil and bake until warmed through. You can reheat in the microwave for 1 minute or until hot, but we prefer using the oven.

chicken thighs on plate with salad.

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Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs

This Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe with a simple garlic cream sauce is the perfect chicken dinner for easy weeknights or entertaining. Everyone loves this juicy chicken dish and it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
4.54 from 1707 votes

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Use a paper towel to pat the chicken thighs dry.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken thighs, on both sides.
  • Heat a large cast iron to medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Place chicken thighs skin side down in the hot skillet and cook, until skin is crispy about 5 minutes, flip chicken thighs and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add the butter, shallot, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce thickens up a bit.
  • Place the chicken back in the pan with the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve the chicken warm with the sauce.

Notes

You can use skin-on or skinless chicken thighs, whatever you prefer. You can use chicken breasts, but the thighs are juicier.
Store leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 131mg, Sodium: 380mg, Potassium: 281mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 440IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords chicken, dinner

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I didn’t want to chop anything so I left out the garlic and shallot, don’t like red pepper flakes so I left that out, and didn’t have any heavy cream so I left that out too. I realize this is a bit silly because that kind of makes it not really the same dish but I followed the bones of the recipe and it was still super delicious even with me being lazy and leaving out half the ingredients.

    1. How can you rate a recipe when you’ve taken out main ingredients? “Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe with a simple garlic cream sauce”. Hmm, you took OUT the GARLIC. You also took out the heavy cream – “Heavy cream– to finish the sauce, don’t skip it!” What you made doesn’t come close to what the recipe makes. Sure MAYBE what you made was good, but it certainly wasn’t THIS and shouldn’t have been rated, good or bad.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe!
    I did not have heavy cream so I improvised with milk & butter, but it was not the same texture. My kids loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    These chicken thighs were GREAT! Thank you. They were certainly easy and as you suggested they were fine coming out of the refrigerator to heat and serve the next day! Also, thank you very much for putting the recipe on your site and not sending me to Pinterest. I avoid recipes that are only present there. Oh, and I need to say the very picky husband liked them, too.

  4. Recipes is simple but full of flavor..me n hubby .enjoying the kitchen as we’re now retired..
    We love chicken.. different recipes for s fun..glad have those spices..but some need to get some… what’s missing is a skillet..we put away our old one..time to get one.

  5. This is amazingly delicious. Make this chicken! We put it over white rice and dipped some Naan in the sauce. My kids and husband inhaled it.

  6. 5 stars
    This is delicious. I cooked the chicken yesterday and made the sauce tonite. Added the chicken and sauce to a large cast iron pan, covered with parchment and foil and baked at 285f for 40 mins. Turned out beautifully with the chicken super tender and falling off the bone.

    I used a clean cast iron pan to make the sauce (i.e. I would have cleaned it after frying the chicken as there was too much grease and the recipe didn’t specifically address this.)

    I did use dried chives and thyme which also worked well. Served with whipped russett potatoes. Yum!!

  7. 5 stars
    It came out perfect. My husband is on a salt-free diet, and I used all the same ingredients minus the salt, and it still came out delicious. I will make this again. It would also go well with rice or potatoes.

  8. 5 stars
    A very delicious, friendly and uncomplicated recipe. I found your receipt last night an hour before I needed to prepare dinner for the family and I had most of the ingredients except heavy cream/shallots. A simple fix with an onion and cream cheese. Very appetizing and can definitely be carry out many different ways! Thank you Maria! Will be a staple in my cookbook!

  9. 5 stars
    Excellent! Easy to do. It took me about 35 minutes to get the chicken to around 160. I advise getting out of the fridge and get to room temp for an hour before cooking. Remember to scrape the goodness and deglaze!

    1. My thighs were still pretty frozen in the package. I put them in a bowl and ran some warm water over them to thaw before drying. I know there is a long time between your post and mine but a helpful tip is a helpful tip whenever it arrives.

  10. 5 stars
    This is outstanding!! I used a tiny bit more spices, maybe a teaspon of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Added 2 tablespoons wine along with the lemon juice and broth. Served over linguini. This is now a standard recipe in our house. A Go-to standard. It’s best cooked in a cast-iron frying pan.

  11. 5 stars
    This is pretty similar to a recipe I already use but the lemon added a nice touch. After seasoning the thighs I tossed them in some cornstarch and fried them in some butter and olive oil for a crispier texture. I doubled up on the garlic and shallot since it adds so much flavor to the dish. My daughter hates red pepper flakes so I opted out of that but I def feel like that would kick this dish up a notch. Will make again!

  12. Easy & delicious!!! My 3 kids and hubbs ate it up unsolicited. Nice wholesome meal, served with roasted broccoli & green chives!

  13. 5 stars
    I tried this tonight and did it with skinless, boneless thighs and I really liked it. Because I didn’t have the skin I used ghee and was careful of the browning process. I got the desired fond and browning on the chicken. Really simple was able to do the dishes while monitoring it and I will definitely cook it again. I had it over a bed of egg noodles.

  14. very good and easy! next time I will add a little white wine during the simmering process and mushrooms

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