Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs

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.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

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!
4.82 from 16 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, about 1 ½ pounds*
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

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

Have you tried this recipe?

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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. This looks delicious! What do you recommend using instead of the heavy cream to make it dairy-free?

  2. 4 stars
    It’s good but not sure it’s worth the oil splatter mess and getting hot oil popping on my arms.

    1. If you don’t know how to cook without splattering oil everywhere then get out of the kitchen. This is a good easy recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    We tried the Skillet Chicken for the first time last night and the food was great and very tasty

  4. This was very tasty. Very easy to put together and will definitely have it again! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy following your blog.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious. Instead of shallots I used a yellow onion and it was amazing. I was very pleasantly surprised!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m really bad at leaving ratings/reviews on recipes but I HAD to come back to this one. The flavor in this recipe is outstanding and I was obsessed with the sauce. I even put a little on my veggie side. Highly recommend!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this for my wife and me tonight, and it turned out very well. My pan was a little crowded, so it took a bit longer to cook but that was Ok. Served it with some roasted red potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce. Next time I think I will try the white wine instead of lemon juice.

  8. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this recipe. It’s simple, fast, and the sauce tastes great. I make a pork chop with sour cream gravy that my wife loves and she thought it tasted a lot like it. I went with the white wine instead of chicken broth, I love cooking with wine when possible. This is most likely going to be a staple around my house from now on.

  9. 5 stars
    Made it just as the recipe says and it turned out wonderfully. My mother, who was visiting, requested a copy of the recipe to take home with her.

  10. 4 stars
    We enjoyed this recipe very much. There was too much oil after the chicken was cooked. I should have wiped the skillet before adding the butter etc. The recipe was easy and quick to prepare

  11. 5 stars
    I made this but used rosemary instead of thyme ( didn’t have and couldn’t find fresh), and I added mushrooms and it was so good. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and everyone raved about how tasty it was. We will definitely be making this again! Thank you for the recipe

  12. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last week, absolutely delicious. Matter of fact, it was so good I linked it in my FB page and am making it again tonight for my while family. Followed the directions with no changes.

    1. I haven’t tried it. I am sure it would be ok, but the sauce won’t be as rich.

  13. 5 stars
    Just made it. SHUT UP!!!!! Amazing sauce. The only change I made was I put the chicken back in the sauce and covered continued cooking on low for another 15 minutes. Perfect! Thanks.

  14. 5 stars
    Pleasantly surprised!! Taste was amazing and instructions perfect- I only had 3 chicken thighs and adjusted the recipe accordingly. There were no leftovers between the two of us. Thanks so much- such a winner!!.

    1. 5 stars
      Love the recipe and have made it a few times. Really delicious. I went to make it tonight but no chicken broth. Any ideas for a substitute? I have beef broth, is that usable? Thanks again for the recipe. I’m generally a terrible cook and this had em raving.

    2. Vegetable broth would be better because it isn’t as strong, but if you like the flavor of beef broth and that is all you have, you can try it.

  15. 5 stars
    YUM. Added some minced ginger, mushrooms and scallions ( I didn’t have shallot), and returned chicken and juices to pan after sauce was reduced. Also added mushrooms.

    Could do with a pinch of Sherry or port wine along with veg stock. Served over rice to soak up the yummy sauce.

  16. This may be a stupid question, but can I use 1% milk? I have no heavy cream and I have no desire to go to the store to buy some after a busy workday. I’m sure it will be a thinner consistency, but do you think it’ll still work? I’m not a big cook so substitutions don’t always work well for me. Thanks!

    1. You are correct, it won’t be a rich and creamy sauce, but you can try it if that is all you have. Maybe add some butter to richen up the sauce?

  17. Yuuuuck. I was thinking, because I made sure they were extra crispy, these thighs would be extra delicious. Wrong. Given some exceptions of me using a cast iron skillet (which should make it better), and maybe adding a bit too much heavy cream (because the directions on this website are nearly unbearable), this meal was nearly intolerable for me.