Set It & Forget It

My Famous Instant Pot French Garlic Chicken Is the Creamiest, Dreamiest Dinner

"A sauce that would make even a boot taste good."

October 10, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.

Welcome to Set It & Forget It, a new series about all the ways we rely on our slow cookers, Instant Pots, and ovens during the colder months. Whether it’s a long braise on the stove or a quick burst in the pressure cooker, one thing’s for sure: Comfort food means comfort cooking.

"Creamy Garlic Chicken" excerpted from Instant Pot Fast & Easy © 2019 by Urvashi Pitre. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo by HMH

Hi, my name is Urvashi. You may know me as the Butter Chicken Lady (yep, that's my recipe). The New York Times profiled me the other week. I'm a scientist, home cook, and cookbook author. I also write the blog Two Sleevers, which is where I like to share easy and delicious recipes from around the world with foodies who enjoy good food—but don’t always have the time to cook elaborate meals.

Like me. And my readers.

In fact, the members of my Facebook group have dubbed one of my sauces, from the Creamy French Garlic Chicken recipe, "a sauce that would make even a boot taste good."

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“After trying the cumin chile chicken Urvashi posted I bought her book which includes this recipe. Just made it tonight and love. The sauce is so well balanced. It is easy and I had all the ingredients thanks to Trader Joe's pantry stable cream. I cut the garlic down by 1/3rd but my cloves were fat, and I used fresh thyme sprigs since that's what I had, herbs de Provance is strong so I'd likely use only 1 tsp. I'll be telling everyone to make this. One thing, I always greatly reduce the salt in her recipes-- I cut it in half here and it is plenty for us. And I used a pound of boneless breasts, whole. Same cook time works.”
— nutcakes

Although I would not recommend serving my chicken with a boot, I do have other suggestions for you to consider making this a sauce you'll want to eat over everything.

This recipe is second in popularity only to my butter chicken—and it’s about as easy. And as versatile, too. You can make this in your Instant Pot or in a frying pan. Choose your own adventure. It’s a very simple dinner recipe that combines juicy chicken thighs with Dijon mustard, garlic, and a mixture of spices to make a French-inspired dish that is as delicious as it looks.

(For all you mustard haters out there: No, it does not taste like you’re drinking mustard.)

If you MUST make this dish tonight—hey, no one's stopping you—and you don’t have herbes de Provence, order them immediately online. Or in a pinch: You can also use a Greek seasoning mix or an Italian seasoning mix until the French stuff arrives in the mail.

How to Make French Garlic Chicken in the Instant Pot


For the marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the cooking:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, using a wire whisk to emulsify the oil and vinegar together.
  2. Add chicken thighs and allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you need to marinate for longer, put in the refrigerator.
  3. Turn your Instant Pot to Sauté and when it's hot, add the butter and allow it to melt.
  4. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the chicken, leaving behind as much of the marinade as you can. (Do not discard the marinade!)
  6. Cook the chicken thighs so that they can lightly brown on one side, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add the marinade and 1/4 cup water.
  8. Close the Instant Pot and set it to cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow it to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.
  9. Remove the chicken to a plate and add 1/4 cup cream into the pot, mixing well with the remaining liquid.
  10. As soon as the sauce thickens, pour it onto the chicken thighs and serve.

In case you don't own an Instant Pot...

Here's the same recipe, but for the stovetop:

For step-by-step instructions with photos, visit Urvashi's blog.

Are you a fan of this Internet-famous chicken, too? Let us know in the comments below.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jennifer
  • AntoniaJames
  • tastysweet
  • Dawnette Moore Thompson
    Dawnette Moore Thompson
  • nutcakes
Dr. Urvashi Pitre is the President of a global marketing consulting firm, as well as the author of several best-selling cookbooks.


Jennifer January 9, 2024
HI! Where are the nutrition facts for this recipe??
AntoniaJames September 26, 2023
A keeper!! ;o)
tastysweet December 17, 2020
Was wondering, since I only have bone in chicken breasts with skin, is the cooking time more?
Dawnette M. December 17, 2020
I made this for the first time last night. I was a bit worried my husband and teenaged son wouldn’t care for the herbes de Provence. The guys were silent during the meal, which is usually a sign they like something. My son ate slowly—said he was savoring every bite—and my husband took his fork and scraped up every bit of the sauce. Good thing the man has manners; otherwise, I think he would have licked his plate. My only complaint (?) is that the sauce was a bit runny. I don’t know if I didn’t cook it long enough after adding the cream. Since we aren’t doing keto, I think I’ll add a little cornstarch next time. This recipe is a keeper!
nutcakes July 24, 2020
After trying the cumin chile chicken Urvashi posted I bought her book which includes this recipe. Just made it tonight and love. The sauce is so well balanced. It is easy and I had all the ingredients thanks to Trader Joe's pantry stable cream. I cut the garlic down by 1/3rd but my cloves were fat, and I used fresh thyme sprigs since that's what I had, herbs de Provance is strong so I'd likely use only 1 tsp. I'll be telling everyone to make this. One thing, I always greatly reduce the salt in her recipes-- I cut it in half here and it is plenty for us. And I used a pound of boneless breasts, whole. Same cook time works.
Pam January 17, 2020
I'm definitely one of the #TrustUrvashi crowd, having made Butter Chicken many times and being an enthusiastic reader of several of your cookbooks. This, though, was a big no. We like garlic and I can barely cook without it, BUT OMG, there IS such as thing as too.much.garlic! This, I am very sorry to way, was a big flop. I made it a few months ago so I can't remember the details, except to say, too.much.garlic!
Lisa T. January 12, 2020
Is their any reason that this recipe couldn’t be doubled or tripled? 1 pound of chicken thighs is not likely to be enough for my family for dinner. Thanks!
Pam January 17, 2020
I can't imagine why not, but if Urvashi says not to, then you could make a single recipe several times.
Paula December 29, 2019
I saved this recipe hoping Santa would bring me an Instant Pot. He came through and I'm eager to give this a try as my first IP effort. I'm a little confused why the recipes suggests the sauce will thicken after you add the cream? Isn't the pot off at that point? Is there carry-over cooking or did I miss the step for heating the sauce after the cream is added? Looking forward to trying this, so thanks for any advice.
Urvashi P. December 29, 2019
Yay for Santa! So much fun ahead for you.

The sauce thickens for two reasons. One, there is indeed residual heat in the pot that helps. But two, and more so, the cream mixes with everything else and the resultant emulsification is what helps thicken the sauce also.
Babs I. December 29, 2019
Ours turned out perfectly, but the sauce only thickened a little bit after adding the cream.
Paula December 29, 2019
Thanks for the speedy reply! Good to understand how it works. Let the adventure begin!
Paula December 29, 2019
Thank you for sharing your experience with this.
tastysweet December 17, 2020
Could you turn IP pot to sauté on low and keep whisking until the thickness you like is achieved?
Sunny D.
Lorraine A. December 24, 2019
Wonderful. Followed the directions exactly as written. My mother and husband enjoyed it very much and so did I.
Urvashi P. December 29, 2019
So good to hear! It’s wonderful to share a meal and have everyone enjoy it, isnt it?
Linda S. December 22, 2019
This was edible, but not worth making again. Leftovers went in the garbage
tastysweet December 22, 2019
Wow. That bad? Did you try the skillet method?
Babs I. December 21, 2019
Most instant pots require 1 cup of liquid, minimum. The total volume of the cooking liquids doesn’t come close. More water?
Babs I. December 21, 2019
Urvashi is right. I made it as written, and it came to pressure quickly and cooked perfectly.
Amy January 19, 2020
I used 1/3 c water which is really only slightly more than 1/4 c because I was worried, too, about the amount of water. However, the chicken releases a lot of its own juices and it turned out to have almost too much liquid. I set the Instant Pot on saute after removing the chicken to reduce the liquid somewhat and then added 2% milk as a known inadequate substitute for the cream. The sauce didn't thicken as much as it should, but I knew I was saving on fat calories, so accepted the result.
Ernie’s M. December 21, 2019
Ok, I am at altitude AND will be using crockpot. What changes do you suggest? This will be my first time making this dish.
tastysweet December 21, 2019
I do not own an Instant Pot......not yet!!!! Question: when you say let the pressure release naturally before releasing it fully, how does one release it naturally?
Looks like a recipe I would make and so easy.
Billy52 December 21, 2019
She means turn the power off and let it come (towards) room temperature.
nutcakes March 10, 2020
There are two ways to release steam in an Instant pot. Quick release by turning a knob to let it out asap so you can open the lid, or natural release after it turns off the steam dissapates over about 10 or 15 minutes, finishing the cooking for some dishes. This doesn't matter for those who don't have Instant pots.
tastysweet December 17, 2020
Now have the IP duo Gourmet from Costco. Those who have it, just know there is no start button. Just hit pressure cook button.
Still learning.
violingirl December 21, 2019
How much does cooking time increase using boneless chicken breast please? And do you recommend we chop the breast into smaller pieces or leave whole?

Have never used an instant pot before! Was hunting for a a recipe to give the pot a try and, this one sounds perfect, except that we may not enjoy other recipes to follow quite as much!
Urvashi P. December 22, 2019
So yes definitely cut the chicken breasts into cubes. And for cooking times, try 6 minutes under pressure
violingirl December 22, 2019
Thank you! :)
nutcakes March 10, 2020
Try her cumin-chile chicken if you haven't. I made it with breast chinks and took 5 minutes off the cooking time.
nutcakes July 24, 2020
I ended up making this with 2 whole boneless breasts. I did not adjust the pressure time, but I left it about 8 minutes extra on natural release and they were a bit overdone. Still delicious but I do cut salt in half from what she suggests.
Jessica F. December 21, 2019
Sounds delicious, and keto friendly! Thank you!
Emjslp December 20, 2019
How do I convert this to a crockpot?? I don’t have an instant pot.
Urvashi P. December 20, 2019
So don’t do crockpot. Do stovetop instead. If you check out this recipe on my blog I have directions for how to make it stovetop as well.
Rudi L. December 18, 2019
Never liked chicken meat. But, thank you for this recipe. I ❤️ Cooking everyday for my family. Never believed that chicken could be so tasty in Pressure Cooker. Unbelievable❤️👨🏻‍🍳❗️
Urvashi P. December 19, 2019
so glad to hear that!
Anne M. November 10, 2019
The best chicken recipe around! Don’t second guess it you need to make it today. I made a rice with vegetables and roasted green beans to accompany this delicious dish
Urvashi P. December 22, 2019
Happy to see this :)
Heidi G. October 28, 2019
Another winner from Urvashi! Her butter chicken in on my regular rotation, and now I need to add this one. I served it over mashed potatoes alongside green beans. So easy and yummy!
elizabeth October 27, 2019
Oh my! Will definitely be making this again.