There’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal, and this easy cast iron skillet creamy garlic chicken thighs recipe is perfect for any night of the week. Succulent chicken cooked with chunks of fresh garlic in a creamy sauce.
Click the recipe link above to go straight to the printable recipe card which includes ingredients, instructions and notes. Scroll through the post for helpful tips and step by step instructions with photos.
🧾 Main Ingredients Notes
Chicken: Chicken thighs have more flavor; however, you can use chicken breast.
Garlic cloves: Go fresh for the best flavor. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use chunky garlic paste; I like the product from Gourmet Garden. Do not use a jar of garlic; the flavor is not as fresh.
Chicken broth: I use the Better than Bouillon broth because I rarely use a whole can and don’t want to take the effort to freeze the leftover broth.
Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed, period 🙂
Garlic powder: Only garlic powder, don’t use garlic salt.
Plain Greek yogurt: Sometimes I use french yogurt, which is also very creamy and thick. Leave the yogurt out while preparing the other ingredients so it is close to room temperature. If needed, thin it out slightly with a tablespoon of milk or water.
🥣 Step by Step Recipe Directions
Step One: Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and dredge the chicken in flour.
Step Two: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a small cast-iron skillet. Add chicken to the heated pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. When the chicken is browned, transfer it to a plate and set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
Step Three: Reduce heat to medium-low, add the butter, and saute the garlic cloves for about 2-3 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning the garlic. The garlic will begin to turn a light golden brown.
Step Four: Add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step Five: Mix the yogurt with one (1) tablespoon or water (or milk) and stir into the broth mixture until smooth. Add the chicken back into the pan. Cook on medium-low until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked. Use an instant-read thermometer and check the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170º F.
👩🍳 Recipe Notes
- Use bone-in chicken thighs for the best flavor and texture. Chicken breasts will work, but they tend to dry out easily.
- Don’t try to turn the chicken until it’s ready; when ready to turn the chicken will release easily from the pan.
- If the sauce needs to be smoothed or thinned out, add a little milk and whisk until smooth.
🥄 Helpful Tools
- 7-inch cast iron skillet – I really like the lighter weight of the Blacklock by Lodge.
🍴 Serving Suggestions
- My favorite way to serve creamy garlic chicken is over rice or pasta with steamed vegetables.
- Shred the chicken for tacos or a burrito.
8 Ways to use leftover Garlic Chicken
- Use it as a topping for pizza or salad
- Mix it with pasta and a sauce for a quick and easy meal
- Add it to a burrito or taco filling
- Use it as a filling for a sandwich or wrap
- Chop it up and use it as an omelet or Frittata filling
- Add it to a stir-fry or fried rice dish
- Use it as a topping for a baked potato or sweet potato
- Mix it with some beans and vegetables to make a hearty chili or stew
❄️ How to Store Leftovers
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
❓Frequently Asked Question
Creme Fraiche or sour cream works rather well, just a bit tangier. Whipping creme can also be used.
Single Serving Creamy Garlic Chicken
- 1 6-8-ounce chicken thigh
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and cut into large chunks
- ¼ cup chicken broth or stock
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
- Salt & pepper
- Sprinkle chicken with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and dredge the chicken in flour.
- In a small cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add chicken to the heated pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. When the chicken is browned, transfer it to a plate and set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the butter and saute the garlic cloves for about 2-3 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning the garlic. The garlic will begin to turn a light golden brown.
- Add the chicken broth, and lemon juice, to the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix the yogurt with 1 tablespoon or water (or milk) and stir into the broth mixture until smooth. Add the chicken back into the pan. Cook on medium-low until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
- Choose the Right Chicken: For a skillet meal like this, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work well. If you use chicken breasts, try to pound to an even thickness for consistent cooking.
- Sear the Chicken: Before adding the creamy sauce, sear the chicken pieces on both sides in a hot skillet until they are golden brown. This will enhance the flavor of the final dish.
- Use Fresh Garlic: Garlic is a key flavor in this dish, so use fresh cloves rather than jarred or powdered garlic for the best taste.
- Don’t Burn the Garlic: Cook the garlic over medium heat to avoid burning. Burnt garlic can turn bitter and ruin the flavor of your dish.
- Deglaze the Pan: After removing the chicken, add a little chicken broth or wine to the pan and scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. These bits, called fond, are packed with flavor.
- Simmer to Combine Flavors: Once you’ve added the yogurt, let the sauce simmer for a while to allow the flavors to meld together.