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!
4.52 from 233 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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Comments

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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.

    2. There are such things as “splatter screens”. They’re cheap and useful for more than just covering splattering. I also will use pieces of wax paper on the back of my stove, and sometimes the sides too, to keep splattering from getting all over my wall, and even things on my counter next to the stove.

  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.

    1. Loved the recipe and will make it again. I didn’t use any onions or shallots (didn’t have any) used smoked paprika and garlic salt for the seasoning. Added slivered almonds and used Prosecco instead of white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice , just in case. It was delicious.

    1. I used sour cream instead of heavy cream. Left out shallots and lemon juice because i had none. I added spinach leaves and grated Parmesan right at the end. It tasted great!

  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.

  18. Chicken thighs definitely needs to be cooked longer! I cooked the skin for 5 minutes, then transferred whole skillet in the oven and bake for 30 mins at 400F. This way the skin gets extra crispy! I love this recipe and the sauce, it’s so yummy! I catch myself drinking the sauce after I devour the chicken, LOL!

  19. 3 stars
    I tried this recipe because the pictures looked great and the ingredients sounded like they’d make for a great dish, but I was honestly a little disappointed. The finished product tasted okay, but the cooking time took twice the time advertised and frying thighs with the skin on made the dish way too greasy in my opinion. I subsequently researched why chicken thighs are typically cheaper and learned there are a few factors, but the biggest one is that the thighs are a dense meat that takes twice the cooking time from white meat. I also found that leaving the skin on at medium high heat just renders the skin into fat instead of crisping it up. I ended up removing the skin and refrying it, and it just didn’t come out right. I love chicken thighs (and fried chicken in general) from fast food and have reached a conclusion that this is a dish to leave to them – it tastes better, with no mess to clean up, no greasy smell in your house, and the few bucks savings isn’t worth the hours of prep, cooking, or clean up.

  20. 5 stars
    Stumbled upon this and had close enough ingredients. Delicious and easy! My shallot was a finely diced small red onion and my heavy cream was half and half. Still great. Two thumbs up!

  21. 5 stars
    I have a picky husband and he loved it! I used white wine because I was out of chicken broth. My side was rigatoni and I added sun dried tomatoes to mine. Delish!

  22. 5 stars
    Loved it. I didn’t use lemon n substituted heavy cream for half and half. I also used boneless skinless thighs and rotisserie chicken seasoning. They were delicious. I am going to make it again tonight.

  23. 4 stars
    Recipe was a great jumping off point. I felt the seasonings needed to be doubled to cover all of the chicken thighs. I also used 5 garlic cloves and increased the amount of liquid in the recipe because I added egg noodles to the recipe at the end and spinach. It ended up being delicious!

  24. Made this for dinner & it was a great recipe! Used white wine instead of broth, and A2 Half & Half instead of cream, very tasty. Only side note is, for chicken thighs, the cooking time needs to be much longer than what’s in the recipe. It took at least an extra 30mins for them to fully cook. I cooked in my cast iron skillet on a gas stove, made the sauce perfect! Otherwise, delicious!

  25. 5 stars
    Classic and deep, delicious flavors. Easy and mouth watering. I added diced onion. Paired with smash potatoes and honey soy carrots.

  26. 5 stars
    This was so good! Even my picky partner enjoyed it! Followed recipe exactly except didn’t have Shallots on hand, so used onion in its place, and used skinless thighs as that is what I had in the freezer. The sauce was delicious, both the pan and plate were licked clean! Served with Mashed potatoes and steamed Broccoli. Will definitely make this again!

  27. 5 stars
    So easy to make – I already had most of the ingredients in the pantry! Very flavorful – the whole family loved it!

  28. 5 stars
    I’m not a big fan of chicken thighs, so I made this recipe with boneless pork chops. I used evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. They were delicious!

  29. 5 stars
    Loved loved everything about this recipe. Served it with roasted broccoli. Excellent. Thanks for all the great content.

  30. 5 stars
    We loved it. I prepped and my 16 year son cooked it up. He loved it and wants me to print out the recipe for him.
    Thank you!

  31. 5 stars
    LOVE this flavorful, juicy chicken recipe! I used bone-in thighs with skin on and had to add only a few minutes to the cooking time. The sauce is out of this world, so we topped our dumpling noodles with it as a side. Thank you, Maria, for this simple and delicious recipe.

  32. 5 stars
    Well goodness gracious…that was delicious!!! Enjoyed it very much! Couldn’t leave my house so I had to substitute the heavy cream for milk/butter with a little flour to thicken it….but it tasted so good, the sauce had a gravy consistency so I had it with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli with a slice of French bread (cause that’s all I had).

  33. 5 stars
    This was actually the best chicken I’ve ever made. Substituted half and half for cream and onion for shallot as that was all I had and it was still delicious.

  34. 5 stars
    This was one of the best moist chicken recipes I’ve ever made!!! I served it over rice & it was delicious! It truly tasted like a dish I would order in a fine dining restaurant! My kids loved it as well!!

  35. Very good. Needed to adjust cook times because the theighI used were large. Over all tast was very good served with roasted cauliflower.

  36. 5 stars
    Made this tonight, and all I can say is that all the reviews about how delicious this is, are absolutely RIGHT!! The seasoning and sauce make this soooo flavorful! I used bone-in thighs and trimmed some of the excess skin and fat, then browned them about 10 minutes each side. ( I’m always concerned about undercooking chicken, and thighs will accommodate some extra cooking without drying out.) The only thing I wasn’t clear on was the sprigs of fresh thyme — do you cook the whole sprig in the sauce then remove it when done? Or are you supposed to strip the tiny leaves and leave them in the sauce? I cooked the sprig whole then discarded it. Sauce was amazing, so I’d say this was a good choice with the thyme.