Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs

By Maria Lichty

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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.

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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!
4.55 from 1752 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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4.55 from 1752 votes (1,585 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. I’m currently living in Peru with my boyfriend, and Peruvians know their food hahaha. So if he loved it, then its a win for mee hehe. Thank you for sharing this easy and amazing recipe, we just wish we made more!!

  2. 5 stars
    First time I made this, I made it exactly as the recipe states, except for the garlic, which I use less of per personal preference. It was absolutely delicious! The gravy was perfect. The spices were prominent without being too strong. This evening, I made it with skinless breasts cut into tenders. I was disappointed. The flavor of the gravy lacked depth, and did not have that deep, golden caramel color that it had when prepared with thighs. This recipe is easy to prepare with little prep time using common ingredients. I’ve even made a triple batch of the seasoning in advance and used it for other dishes. A definite keeper

  3. 5 stars
    I don’t normally leave reviews however this dish is delicious! The whole family LOVED it! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. 5 stars
    Maria, that you so very much for this recipe! The sauce is delicious.

    Yesterday I bought some boneless skinless thighs, and then looked for a recipe. I found this, so this morning I went and bought some heavy cream, and a shallot.

    I actually followed your instructions (which is a bit unusual for me). I didn’t have onion powder so I used onion flakes instead. My pan will only hold 4 thighs, so that’s what I made, but I used up all of the rub on them. If I were to do eight thighs I would have to double the amount of spices.

    The sauce is spectacular. I never used lemon in a cream sauce before. It really sets it apart.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Made this for dinner tonight….delicious!! Had to modify a bit for a big family, but only amounts. So glad I found a new way to make chicken thighs!

  6. 4 stars
    The flavor was wonderful but I must have done something wrong because the cream curdled when I added it in. Any tips for me?

  7. 5 stars
    Just delicious! Adding this to my list of favorite recipes Sis! And that is a hard list to get on. Great variation for budget cooking as well!

  8. Why would you suggest as a side for this dish? I always struggle to pick a side that matches the main dish!!!

    1. Any salad, roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, smashed potatoes, mashed potatoes roasted cauliflower, green beans, rice…so many options!

  9. Question, so after you add the Chicken back in the pan with the sauce- how long do you cook the chicken for?

  10. I am currently making this. Do you leave all of the chicken grease in the pan when you add the butter and shallots?

  11. For the life of me I can’t make this recipe without the cream curdling. I’ve tried different temperatures and with minimal lemon juice. Even when I add the lemon after the crepe it curdles instantly.
    Please can anyone offer some guidance on how to make a cream sauce?

  12. 5 stars
    Tried the Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs last night. We had just three thighs left from another recipe, so I halved the recipe. Also, ran out of cream and half-and-half, so I used milk.
    FABULOUS! DELICIOUS! A great ‘find’ for us 70+ retirees. It’s now on our list of staples.
    Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    I thought this was good, but I made a mistake because I thought I had heavy cream. Instead, I improvised with melted butter and whole milk whisked together. The gravy didn’t thicken, so it was more of a sauce than gravy. It turned out super well regardless! Next time, I’ll probably omit the thyme because it’s not my favorite and possibly add some ranch seasoning. I will definitely be saving this! it went great with my loaded cauliflower casserole. #teamketo

  14. 4 stars
    This is a keeper. I doubled all of the spices, used yellow onion instead of shallot since I didn’t have one on hand and used whole milk since I ran out of heavy cream. I only had skinless thighs. I also use caldo de pollo seasoning in place of traditional chicken broth in all of my recipes. Came out delicious and all of the kids liked it as well. Served over rice with a side of bacon green beans. Will make again.

  15. 5 stars
    I made this for my husband and he raved about it. I put the chicken pieces over cooked rice with the sauce on top and it was very good….I usually don’t think my cooking is that great all the time but the seasoning made it special.. I made this once before but not with rice, this was better.

  16. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe – it is delicious! I made it like the recipe says, except I substituted shaved onion for the shallot, and thickened the sauce with a little flour/water mixture. My husband is a little picky about chicken, and he said it was good! So I will be making it again. One thing though: it leaves a mess to clean up on the stove!

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious! will definitely make again. I added turmeric and smoked paprika and went heavy on pepper flakes. Also subbed unsweetened coconut milk for cream.

  18. 5 stars
    Just made this amazing chicken thigh recipe tonight and rhe whole fsmily loved it even the picky eaters!! Lol. I followed the recipe to a T and it was absolutely scrumptious! Such a delicious blend of spices and seasonings to complement the creamy caramel sauce that I couldn’t get enough of! Definitely wiil save this recipe as one of our family favorites!!

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