One-Pot Wonders

Creamy Garlic Butter Chicken

July  5, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This one-skillet oven baked chicken could very well become your next favorite meal. The juicy thighs are baked together with chickpeas in a creamy sauce loaded with garlic, herbs and crushed black peppercorns.
We nestle unpeeled garlic between the chicken, so it can slowly roast in the butter sauce and become tender and sweet, adding an incredible extra flavor. Afterwards the cloves go perfectly on crusty bread and you can mop up all of that delicious sauce.
This one skillet meal is absolutely amazing. The chicken is incredibly moist and infused with the most delicious flavors. It’s fuss-free and tastes so good. A crowd-pleasing dish that’s super easy to make, a true back-pocket recipe to have in your arsenal. You can serve it with orzo, baked potatoes or crusty bread, and a simple side salad. So let’s make the most delicious chicken dish, shall we? Hands down. It’s amazing. Pure joy.
Can you use boneless-skinless chicken thighs or breasts? Yes! Just scale the bake time back about 10 minutes, as they will cook through quicker.
You can add more veggies like spinach or cauliflower, or swap the chickpeas for butter beans. This recipe is flexible, it will still be amazing. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings

What You'll Need
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 can (400 g/15 ounce) chickpeas, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 100 milliliters (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 100 milliliters (1/2 cup) unsalted chicken stock
  • 200 milliliters (3/4 cup) half and half, or light cream 20%
  • 40 grams (1.4 oz) grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon mild mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 5 thyme sprigs, or 1 tsp dried
  • 10 sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried
  • seasoning for the chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried thyme, dried sage, chili flakes, salt, black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Combine the ingredients for the seasoning. Rub the chicken thighs with the seasoning on all sides.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken thighs and sear both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
  4. Heat butter, 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper and minced garlic in the same skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and foaming, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add white wine, cook until reduced and no raw alcohol aroma remains, about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and mustard. Bring to a boil. Add cream, stir in chickpeas and parmesan. Season with salt.
  5. Return chicken to the skillet. Sprinkle with thyme and sage. Trim the top off the head of garlic to expose the tops and nestle between the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes. Squeeze out 2 or 3 roasted garlic cloves and add them to the sauce, smash with a fork. Serve!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • betty888
  • Jen
  • T
  • elwatson

11 Reviews

T June 26, 2023
Excellent recipe! Many thanks! It caught my eye because it seemed like a cool hybrid of a few very common chicken dishes. I used dried chickpeas (soaked and cooked separately) and skinless boneless thighs. Still, the proportions and balance of flavors I followed carefully, and this is a wonderfully satisfying dish! Next time I’ll definitely choose the skin/bone-on thighs. Thank you for such a detailed, thoughtful, and flavorsome recipe!
elwatson April 22, 2023
I should have trusted my instincts and not used half & half - it always breaks. Why not heavy cream? I did pour off all but 1 T of fat after searing chicken and before adding other ingredients. I added shiitake mushrooms so I had some substance there and didn’t rely on sauce for plating. Otherwise flavors were tasty.
ks.grand March 25, 2023
I really wanted this recipe to work, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for me on the first try. The sauce broke while in the oven, and there was SO much fat on top of the cream/broth/cheese mixture. The chicken turned out fine though! Next time I may use skinless thighs instead to avoid this issue. I am open to other people’s thoughts on how to fix this problem; user BSH seemed to have this issue as well. Hoping to nail this recipe next time around!
Hia111 January 19, 2023
This was delicious and a big crowd pleaser. After searing the chicken I arranged them in an oven proof serving dish and then poured the sauce all over it and put it in the oven. Came out looking picture perfect
betty888 November 19, 2022
Made this on a whim for a house guest - I needed something to serve her after her 10-hour journey to my place. I threw this together in no time - low effort and it was delicious. My cream curdled a bit so I think it might have been the acid in the wine - perhaps I didn't cook it off enough. It did not affect the taste, however. The garlic head wasn't fully roasted when I took the chicken out, so I threw it in for 10 more minutes. Really loved it and most importantly, my guest really loved it. :)
jcgettle May 3, 2022
Incredibly delicious, foolproof, and easily customizable recipe. I made it with the butter bean variation and they were the best beans of my life, bar none, so the next time I made this recipe I doubled the quantity of beans, halved the number of chicken thighs, and nestled some Yukon gold potato halves to cook in the sauce. Turned out beautifully. Highly, highly recommended!
Betsy December 10, 2021
Excellent recipe. I ended up substituting brussel sprouts for the chickpeas to make a one-pot meal. I browned them after the chicken for a couple minutes, set them aside while making the sauce, and added them back in with the chicken. Turned out very well.
mhauser November 15, 2021
Made it for my partner tonight--he was working late and I knew he would not get himself a nice dinner. He loves garlic and very much enjoyed this dish. As the recipe says the chicken was very tender and juicy. A big hit and quite easy; I will definitely make it again.
Jen July 5, 2021
Addictive and delicious! We had this with some thick and chewy bread to dunk in the sauce... just place the pan in arms reach of everyone and dig in!
Carrie M. December 30, 2020
This was absolutely delicious, and perfect for a dark, chilly evening. Definitely going into the rotation!
BSH December 9, 2020
Tried just as published, using the butter beans variant. Very yummy. One caution: if you use skin-on thighs as suggested you will end up with a lot of fat on the surface of the sauce, especially since you have fat from the butter, half and half and cheese as well which all separate while in the oven.

I suppose you could remove the bean and garlic solids from the sauce and either use a fat separator or briefly chill the sauce to allow the fat to congeal and remove the top layer. I ended up just spooning the fat from the surface while still in the pan, and ended up with at least half a cup (!) - obviously not very appealing. I suppose you could use a stick blender to emulsify the remaining sauce as well, since it just looked like a broken mess.

Tasty, but not pretty!