Garlic butter chicken thighs are easy to make and taste great with your favorite sides. The skin is perfectly crispy and the thighs are so juicy. Easily made in one pan, no marinating needed, and full of flavour, you can make this recipe for dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!
It doesn’t take a lot of fancy ingredients to have a delicious meal. This garlic butter chicken thighs recipe is made with simple kitchen staples.
Sometimes, simple is better and can be exactly what you need on a busy weeknight. The butter garlic sauce is amazing. I use this sauce as a base for so many recipes like my Garlic Butter Chicken Breast and Garlic Butter Lamb Chops Recipe, because it adds a lot of flavour to any dish.
Plus, you may already have all of the ingredients on hand you need to make this dish! That makes this chicken recipe the perfect solution when you can’t make it to the grocery store.
Also, if you like simple recipes like this Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs, please try these ones too: Easy Baked Dijon Mustard Chicken Thighs, Easy Baked Chicken Thighs and Chicken Thighs and Bell Peppers Skillet.
How to make garlic butter chicken thighs
Just sear the meat to get the skin nice and crispy, then bake in a garlic butter sauce. It’s that simple! Please, do not skip the sauce to have this juicy chicken thighs on your place for dinner.
- Chicken thighs – Use bone-in, skin-on to get the outside crispy while keeping the inside moist.
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil – Substitute any other neutral cooking oil like avocado, canola, or vegetable.
- Garlic – Crush fresh cloves or use minced from a jar.
- Butter – I used grass-fed butter, but you can use any type of butter you prefer. Be sure to use unsalted butter.
- Fresh parsley – or use any fresh herb of your choice to garnish. Don’t have any? No problem, you can use dried herbs such as Italian seasoning!
Prep the ingredients
- Use a paper towel to pat dry the chicken thighs. This helps the seasoning stick to the meat better and get a nice sear. If your thighs have moisture on them, they’ll steam instead of sear in the pan.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Mince the garlic and chop the parsley, then set aside. This way it you don’t have to do it while cooking the chicken. Preparing everything in advance makes cooking go much smoother and easier.
Brown the chicken
- Add olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the thighs in a single layer in a large cast iron skillet and cook until skin is golden brown and crispy. Don’t move it around as it’ll affect the sear you’ll get. When the chicken thighs are ready to be flipped, they’ll no longer stick to the pan.
- If you’ll be using a regular nonstick skillet, heat some oil in the pan first before adding the chicken so it doesn’t stick.
Make garlic butter and bake
- On the side of the pan, melt the butter.
- Add in the garlic and stir to combine. Cook a little longer, until it is fragrant. Make sure it’s not on high heat as you don’t want the garlic to burn.
- Then, place the skillet in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked all the way through. If you are not using a cast iron skillet, transfer everything to a sheet pan so you can safely finish it in the oven. When in the oven, if your chicken is getting very dark, cover it with a foil, until the chicken is completely cooked.
Baste and serve
- Remove from the oven and spoon the garlic butter over the chicken a few times to coat it.
- Then, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with your favorite sides.
Storage and reheating
Transfer the chicken to an airtight container within 2 hours for proper food safety. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through. Or, cut the meat off the bone and heat in a pan on the stove in a little bit of oil.
Frequently asked questions
Are chicken thighs dark meat?
Yes, chicken thighs are considered dark meat as well as drumstick (the legs of the chicken). The chicken breast and wings are classified as white meat.
How long does it take to fully cook chicken thighs?
It depends if you have boneless or bone-in chicken thighs.
1. For boneless chicken thighs, it cooks quickly, in about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.
2. For bone-in thighs, it needs at least 25 and 30 minutes to be fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs, which should be 165°F. We want to have a tender chicken, so don’t overcook it.
Should I wash raw chicken?
I follow the recommendation of the government and for this reason I don’t wash my chicken. The CDC (US Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website, says “Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops”. For more info, please click on the link and read more about it.
You only need take the chicken out of the fridge and put it directly into the cooking pan. This is the safer way because the heat from cooking will eliminate bacterias. Of course, to be completely safe, the cooked chicken must have an internal temperature of 165F.
Can I use a regular nonstick skillet instead of cast iron?
Yes, but you’ll need to make sure the handles are oven-proof since the chicken thighs are finished in the oven.
If not, continue cooking the thighs in the pan. Make sure to frequently baste them with the garlic butter to infuse the flavor and prevent the butter from burning. Alternatively, you can transfer everything to a sheet pan and finish it in the oven that way.
The meat will be done with it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.
What goes with Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs?
Because these are made with a simple garlic butter sauce, the side dish possibilities are endless! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Roasted Vegetables – They’re great side to go with any kind of protein, especially chicken.
- I also love to serve this chicken thighs with my Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Skillet. This is my most popular cauliflower side dish and I know why. It’s so good!
- Roasted green beans is a good side dish to good with these chicken thighs.
- Potato salad – My favorite potato recipe, because it’s super flavourful and goes well with anything!
- Broccoli salad – Such an easy and flavourful salad. My kid loves it with chicken thighs.
- Cauliflower potato salad – Also it’s a delicious salad and it’s low-carb. Even better!
Can I Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs Instead?
You can definitely swap for boneless skinless chicken thighs. You would not get that crispy skin though! If swapping for boneless skinless thighs, you can skip putting it in the oven to finish off as they cook in less than 20 minutes on the stovetop alone. Just sear each side for 5 to 6 minutes. Again, you can use a meat thermometer to check that the thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165F.
Can I Use Pre-Made Garlic Butter?
If you have store-bought garlic butter, you are welcome to use it in place of minced garlic. Again, just be sure you are using unsalted butter as salted butter varies in salt content through different brands. It’s the easiest way to avoid overly salty food!
Can I Freeze This Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs?
You can definitely freeze cooked chicken thighs. Simply allow it to cool and then transfer it to a freezer safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, all you have to do is thaw it in the fridge overheat and reheat it. The skin might not be crispy when thawed and reheated but you can always place it under the broiler to crisp the skin back up.
Be sure to freeze it with the garlic butter pan juices so it stays moist and flavourful when reheated.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes
If you liked this recipe, try one of these other easy to make dishes. Plus, they’re all one pan recipes just like this one!
- Spicy Chicken with Sauteed Cabbage and Zucchini Bowls
- Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Sheet Pan Chicken with Vegetables
- Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice
- Baked Chicken Thighs with Brussel Sprouts
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
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- 5 chicken thighs skin on and bone in
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- Fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. Move oven rack to center.
- Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season all over with salt and black pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet (10-inch) over medium heat. Place the chicken thighs skin-side down and sear until the skin is golden and crispy. It’s about 5 minutes (they will not be cooked through at this point).
- Flip your chicken over once the skin is crispy. If your chicken thighs releases a lot of fat, dispose it using a spoon.
- Place butter in the same skillet. When the butter is melted, add minced garlic. Stir the garlic around the pan for 30 seconds.
- Place the whole skillet in the oven and bake for 30 mins for until chicken gets the internal temperature at 165°F.
- When the chicken is cooked, spoon some of the garlic butter sauce over the top of each chicken thigh. Top with parsley before serving.
- Click HERE to watch the web story.
- If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the chicken thighs to a baking dish to bake.
- To tell if the thighs are cooked, use an instant-read thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs, which should be 165°F.
- Make sure to get chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on for maximum flavour.
- To store: Store leftover thighs in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Reheat the chicken thighs in the microwave or oven to keep the skin crispy.
- To freeze: You can freeze cooked chicken for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Watch the Web Stories for chicken thigh recipes below: