Garlic Chicken Thighs Simmered in a Rich Cream Sauce

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You know that feeling when you get home from a long day and just want a comforting meal that fills your home with an intoxicating aroma? This garlic chicken thigh dish is exactly what you need. As the chicken simmers in a creamy garlic parmesan sauce, your stress will melt away and your mouth will start watering. The succulent chicken thighs become fall-apart tender in the rich sauce made from ingredients you likely have on hand: garlic, chicken broth, cream, and parmesan cheese. After one bite of this creamy dreamy garlic chicken you’ll be transported to your happy place. Make this dish on a weeknight to give yourself a little midweek pick-me-up or save it for a cozy weekend meal – either way, your taste buds will thank you for the treat. This garlic chicken thigh recipe may become your new favorite comfort food once you experience how delicious simplicity can be.

Ingredients Needed for Garlic Chicken Thighs in Creamy Sauce

To make this garlicy, creamy dish of chicken thighs, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:

  • 1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: Chicken thighs have more flavor than chicken breasts and hold up well to bold sauces. Skin-on thighs will be juicier.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced: Garlic adds a ton of flavor to the sauce and infuses the chicken. Mince the cloves or use a garlic press for quick work of it.
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth: The broth helps create a creamy sauce and prevents the garlic from burning. Low-sodium broth lets the other flavors shine through.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half: For an ultra-rich and creamy sauce, use heavy cream. Half and half will make a lighter sauce. Either way, the dairy helps make this dish extra comforting.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil: Olive oil has a high smoke point, so it can handle the high heat needed to sear the chicken thighs. It also adds more flavor to the sauce.
  • Salt and pepper: Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add more to taste when making the sauce.

With just these few ingredients, you’ll have everything needed to make garlic chicken thighs simmered in a creamy sauce. The ingredient list may be short, but the flavor will be huge! Now, time to start cooking…

Step-by-Step Instructions for Preparing Garlic Chicken Thighs

To make these garlic chicken thighs, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken thighs.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin-side up, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and simmer until the chicken registers 165°F internally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, parsley, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs and serve. Enjoy your garlic chicken thighs with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce. Buon appetito!

Tips for Getting the Best Flavor From Garlic and Cream

To get the most flavor from the garlic and cream in this dish, follow these tips:

Use Fresh Garlic

Fresh garlic has significantly more flavor than jarred or pre-minced garlic. Peel and mince 3-4 cloves to start, you can always add more garlic later if you want an even bigger hit of flavor. The key is not to overpower the other ingredients.

Bloom the Garlic

Blooming the garlic helps bring out its flavor. After mincing the garlic, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and let it sizzle for 30 seconds while stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Blooming will mellow and sweeten the harshness of the raw garlic and infuse the oil with flavor.

Use Heavy Cream

For the creamiest sauce, use heavy whipping cream or heavy cream. Half and half or light cream will produce a thinner sauce. Heavy cream has a richer, fuller flavor that stands up well to the robust garlic and chicken. For extra decadence, you can also use crème fraiche.

Simmer and Reduce

After adding the cream to the pan, bring it to a gentle simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, until it has reduced by about one quarter, usually 3 to 5 minutes. Reducing the sauce will concentrate the flavors and thicken it to a rich, creamy consistency. Be careful not to boil the sauce, or it may curdle.

Season Generously

Don’t be afraid to season the garlic cream sauce boldly with salt and pepper. The rich and creamy ingredients need ample seasoning to achieve an ideal flavor balance. Start with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and add more to taste. You can also add other fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano or parsley if desired.

Following these tips will ensure you get the maximum flavor and richness from the garlic and cream in this decadent dish. Your taste buds will surely thank you!

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

There are several ways to vary this recipe and put your own spin on it. Here are a few suggestions:

Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

The chicken thighs with the bone and skin intact will be even more flavorful. Just increase the cooking time to about 40-45 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. The skin will get beautifully crispy, and the bone will impart more flavor to the sauce.

Add vegetables

Dice 1-2 carrots, celery stalks and onions and sauté them with the garlic before adding the chicken. The veggies will soak up the creamy garlic sauce and add nutrition. You can also add sliced mushrooms, bell peppers or zucchini.

Use cream or half and half instead of milk

For an even richer and more decadent sauce, use an equal amount of heavy cream or half and half in place of the milk. Simmer the sauce until it thickens to your desired consistency.

Add white wine or sherry

Splash in 1/2 cup of white wine or sherry with the broth and milk. The alcohol will cook off, leaving behind subtle flavor notes that enhance the overall taste of the dish.

Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes

Rice, pasta and mashed potatoes are all perfect vehicles for soaking up the creamy garlic sauce. Cooked rice, egg noodles or mashed russet potatoes are all simple sides that pair well with the chicken.

Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs

Boneless chicken breasts tend to be lighter, so you’ll want to decrease the cooking time to about 25-30 minutes. Be very careful not to overcook the chicken, or it can become dry. The sauce will add moisture, but take the chicken out of the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Add parmesan cheese and fresh or sun-dried tomatoes

Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1 cup diced fresh or sun-dried tomatoes during the last few minutes of cooking. The parmesan will melt into the sauce, adding a savory saltiness, while the tomatoes provide an acidity that balances the richness.

Serving Suggestions for Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs

These garlic chicken thighs are delicious on their own, but also pair well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some suggestions to make a complete meal:

Rice or Potatoes

  • Fluffy white rice, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes are classic sides that soak up the creamy garlic sauce.


  • Quick-cooking veggies like asparagus, broccoli, spinach or green beans make a healthy side. Blanch or steam until crisp-tender and season with salt and pepper.
  • A simple salad of mixed greens, cucumbers and tomatoes also provides balance. Dress the salad with a light vinaigrette so it’s not too heavy.


  • Warm bread like ciabatta, focaccia or crusty bread can be used to soak up the extra sauce. Spread with butter for extra decadence.
  • Garlic bread is an obvious choice and easy to make. Simply spread bread with garlic and herb butter or olive oil and broil until bubbly.


  • Egg noodles, linguine or fettuccine are sturdy pasta shapes that stand up well to creamy sauces. Toss with a bit of the sauce from the chicken to coat.
  • For extra garlic flavor, stir in minced garlic, parsley, parmesan and red pepper flakes. Simmer the pasta right in the sauce until heated through.

With a variety of side options, you can customize each plate to your tastes. Mix and match sides for a hearty, satisfying meal. And of course, don’t forget dessert—something light like sorbet, fresh berries or a chocolate mousse makes a perfect end to this garlic and cream-filled dinner. Enjoy!


So there you have it, a delicious creamy garlic chicken dish to satisfy your taste buds. The combination of garlic, white wine, and cream creates a rich and savory sauce that perfectly complements the chicken. And the best part is how easy it is to make. In just over 30 minutes, you’ll have a gourmet meal on the table with minimal fuss. All you need to do is gather a few simple ingredients, give the chicken a quick sear, then let it simmer while you relax with a glass of the same white wine you used in the sauce. Before you know it, dinner will be ready and the aroma of garlic and cream will fill your home. Go on, give this recipe a try. Your belly will thank you, and you’ll be dreaming up excuses to make it again and again.

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