Is it just us, or does saying "garlic butter chicken thighs" immediately incite visions of a rich, moist, and flavorful meal? This recipe, courtesy of recipe developer Kit Hondrum, really is as delicious as it sounds, combining tender chicken thighs with an incredibly flavorful garlic butter sauce that keeps the meat moist succulent.
"I love that this recipe is seems special and fancy, but is actually super simple to make," Hondrum says. "I also love how tender and juicy the meat turns out. These are probably the best chicken thighs I’ve ever had!" She also explained why she prefers this cooking method over others. "I love slow roasting meats and this recipe is inspired by a classic slow roast, but takes less than half the time," Hondrum explains. "This is great for Sunday dinner with the family. The garlic may be a bit much for date night!" Hey, if you don’t mind a little bit of garlic breath, then this would be a pretty good date night meal, too.
Gather the ingredients for garlic butter chicken thighs
The first order of business is to make a list and do a little grocery shopping — luckily this shopping trip will be pretty quick! You will need eight bone-in chicken thighs with skin, salted butter, fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic, and three parsley sprigs for this recipe.
Preheat the oven and melt the butter
You will need an oven to cook the chicken, so go ahead and preheat yours to 400 F. This allows it time to get hot while you prep everything else.
Next, place a large skillet (cast-iron is best, since you’ll finish off the whole dish in the oven) on the burner and crank the heat to high. At this time, you can toss in 2 tablespoons of butter. Continue cooking until the butter has fully melted and there are no large pieces.
Season and cook the chicken
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the skillet is hot enough and the butter begins to brown, add the thighs to the pan. Be sure to place the chicken thighs skin-side down to start. Allow the butter and chicken thighs to cook for five minutes without touching them. Then, flip the thighs and cook them for another five minutes.
Add garlic and butter and continue cooking
Turn off heat, and add the garlic and the rest of the butter to the skillet for even more flavor. Double-check that your oven has finished preheating and pop in the skillet. Be sure to place it on the middle rack and let the chicken roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
"For chicken thighs, I like to cook to 200 F so that the connective tissue, fats, and cartilage begin to break down some more," Hondrum shares. "Bone-in chicken thighs, especially with the skin on and cooked in butter, are hard to overcook, so if you don’t have a meat thermometer, 30 minutes should be perfect!"
Garnish the chicken and serve
Once you take the chicken out of the oven, add the chopped parsley and serve with plenty of butter. You can also spoon the crunchy garlic on top. These chicken thighs are great on their own, but there are many sides to add. "I love to serve these chicken thighs with green beans and a crusty french bread to soak up all the delicious butter," Hondrum notes. "Pair with a buttery Chardonnay for the perfect easy, yet impressive dinner!"
- ½ cup salted butter
- 8 (3 ½ pounds) bone-in chicken thighs with skin
- 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 20 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper evenly on both sides.
- When the skillet is hot and butter just begins to brown, add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes without touching, then flip and cook them for 5 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then add the sliced garlic and the rest of the butter to the skillet.
- Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast on middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 200 F in the center.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with plenty of garlic butter and crunchy garlic pieces.