Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce

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Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce are easy, decadent, and so delicious – in one pot under 20 minutes!

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Easy Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce

Chicken thighs are one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious chicken dinner options – and they are so budget-friendly, they are in often rotation in our house.

I love delicious butter-fried chicken thighs (I’ve been sticking to a super low carb diet, and they are so versatile and delicious, it is easy to stay on the diet with gorgeously rich food like this blackened chicken with garlic recipe) – and I LOVE anything with blackening spices.

The smoky, spicy, and salty blackening spices really pull out the rich and buttery flavor of chicken thighs for a decadent but incredibly easy one pot chicken dinner that is awesome alongside your favorite roasted vegetable, chopped up over salads, in sandwiches, or even in a spicy pasta (there’s plenty of blackened butter sauce in this recipe to dump over noodles!)

How to Make Blackened Chicken Thighs in Garlic Butter Sauce

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Butter (4 tbsp) – Butter adds a rich, creamy taste with a smooth texture, providing a luxurious mouthfeel and a slightly sweet, nutty undertone.
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (4-6) – Chicken thighs offer a juicy, tender bite, boasting a more robust and slightly richer flavor compared to chicken breasts.
  • Garlic (8) – Garlic imparts a pungent, spicy flavor when raw, which transforms into a sweet, caramelized taste when cooked, adding depth and aroma to this recipe.
  • Blackening seasoning (1 1/2 tbsp) – Blackening seasoning brings a bold, spicy kick, usually consisting of a blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices, creating a savory and slightly smoky flavor profile
  • Cilantro (1/2 cup) – Cilantro adds a fresh, citrusy, and slightly peppery note to dishes, although some individuals may perceive its taste as soapy due to a specific genetic trait.
  • Low sodium chicken stock (1/2 cup) – Low sodium chicken stock provides a mild, savory foundation to dishes, allowing for greater control over the salt content while still contributing a rich, meaty flavor

Use This Method

Brown. Heat heavy skillet or pan on medium high heat. Add 1/2 butter, let melt (but NOT brown) Add chicken thighs, let brown to a deep golden brown on each side, flipping after about 3 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from pan when browned on each side (not fully cooked through), set aside.

Make Sauce. Add other 1/2 butter and garlic to pan. Let garlic brown, about 3 minutes. Add cilantro, blackening seasonings, stir and heat 1 minute. Add stock, let boil and reduce slightly – about 2 minutes.

Add Chicken and Serve. Add chicken back to pan and let cook rest of the way to 165 internal temp while sauce reduces, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Enjoy over noodles, roasted vegetables, or rice.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Chicken in Garlic Butter Sauce

Quality Spices:

  • Use fresh, high-quality spices for your blackening seasoning to ensure the most potent and vibrant flavors.

Even Coating:

  • Ensure that the chicken thighs are evenly coated with the blackening seasoning. This helps in creating a uniform crust during cooking.

Room Temperature Chicken:

  • Bring the chicken thighs to room temperature before cooking. This helps in even cooking and achieving a perfect sear.

Preheat Your Skillet:

  • Make sure your skillet, preferably cast-iron for an even heat distribution, is very hot before adding the chicken. This is crucial for getting that signature blackened crust.

Avoid Overcrowding:

  • Cook the chicken in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Overcrowding can lead to steaming rather than searing.

Proper Ventilation:

  • Blackening seasoning can produce a lot of smoke when cooked at high temperatures. Ensure your kitchen is well-ventilated or use an exhaust fan.

Don’t Skip the Rest:

  • Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This helps in retaining the juices inside the meat.

Low and Slow for Garlic:

  • Cook the garlic for the sauce over low heat to avoid burning. Burnt garlic can turn bitter and ruin the sauce.

Deglaze the Pan:

  • After cooking the chicken, deglaze the skillet with a bit of chicken broth or water to lift the flavorful bits stuck to the pan, adding extra depth to your sauce.

Fresh Herbs for Garnish:

  • Use fresh herbs like parsley for garnishing. This not only adds a pop of color but also a fresh flavor that complements the rich and spicy chicken.

Adjust the Sauce Consistency:

  • If your garlic butter sauce is too thick, thin it out with a bit more chicken broth. If it’s too thin, simmer for a longer time to reduce.

Taste and Adjust:

  • Don’t forget to taste your sauce and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Balance is key to a delicious sauce.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve the chicken with a side that can mellow down the spice, such as mashed potatoes, rice, or a fresh salad.

Store Leftovers Properly:

  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.

FAQs

What makes the chicken “blackened” in this recipe?

The term “blackened” refers to the cooking technique used, where the chicken thighs are coated in a blend of spices and cooked in a very hot skillet, creating a charred and crispy exterior.

Can I make this recipe with chicken breasts instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, but be mindful of the cooking time as breasts can dry out faster. Make sure to pound them to an even thickness for uniform cooking.

Is the garlic butter sauce spicy?

The garlic butter sauce is rich and flavorful, but not necessarily spicy. The spiciness in this dish mainly comes from the blackened seasoning on the chicken.

Can I make this dish dairy-free?

Yes, you can make this dish dairy-free by substituting the butter in the garlic butter sauce with a dairy-free alternative like olive oil or coconut oil.

What type of skillet should I use to cook the chicken?

A cast-iron skillet is preferred for achieving a good char on the chicken, but you can use any heavy-bottomed skillet.

How can I adjust the spiciness of the dish?

You can adjust the spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper or other spicy ingredients in the blackening seasoning.

What is the best way to reheat leftovers?

Reheat leftovers gently in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to keep the chicken moist.

What to Enjoy with Your Blackened Chicken

Blackened chicken thighs with garlic butter sauce are rich in flavor and have a spicy kick, making them the star of the meal. To balance out the dish, consider serving it with sides that are light, mildly flavored, or have a cooling effect. Here are some ideas:

Steamed or Grilled Vegetables:

  • Opt for vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or broccoli. The light and crunchy texture of these veggies will complement the richness of the chicken.

Rice or Cauliflower Rice:

  • Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice or, for a low-carb option, cauliflower rice which will absorb the delicious garlic butter sauce.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

  • If you’re not watching your carbs, garlic mashed potatoes can be a heavenly match with the chicken, as they’ll pair wonderfully with the garlic butter sauce.

Fresh Salad:

  • A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can add a crisp and refreshing element to your meal, balancing out the spiciness of the chicken.

Corn on the Cob:

  • The sweetness of corn can provide a nice contrast to the spicy and savory chicken.

Coleslaw:

  • A tangy coleslaw can add a crunchy and refreshing side option, which can be particularly welcome if your blackened chicken is on the spicier side.

Garlic Bread:

  • For those not watching their carb intake, a piece of garlic bread can be great for soaking up the remaining garlic butter sauce on your plate.

Quinoa:

  • Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that can serve as a light base for the chicken, complementing the dish without overpowering it.

Sweet Potato Fries:

  • The sweetness of the fries will contrast nicely with the spicy blackened seasoning on the chicken.

Lemon or Cucumber Water:

  • A refreshing beverage like lemon water or cucumber water can cleanse your palate and enhance the flavors of your meal.

If you love simple, easy one pot dinners, I have so many I’d love to share with you!

Also try my favorite Whole Roasted Montreal Chicken and Spicy Lemon and Garlic Pan Fried Chicken Strips.

Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe

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A plate of blackened chicken thighs with garlic butter sauce, served on a white plate.
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Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce

Blackened Chicken Thighs with Garlic Butter Sauce are easy, decadent, and so delicious – in one pot under 20 minutes!
Course Chicken Thighs
Cuisine American
Keyword cajun, Cajun chicken, chicken dish, new orleans chicken
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 261kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter divided
  • 4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 8 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp blackening seasoning
  • ½ cup cilantro diced
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken stock

Instructions

  • Heat heavy skillet or pan on medium high heat.
  • Add 1/2 butter, let melt (but NOT brown)
  • Add chicken thighs, let brown to a deep golden brown on each side, flipping after about 3 minutes.
  • Remove chicken thighs from pan when browned on each side (not fully cooked through), set aside.
  • Add other 1/2 butter and garlic to pan.
  • Let garlic brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add cilantro, blackening seasonings, stir and heat 1 minute.
  • Add stock, let boil and reduce slightly – about 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken back to pan and let cook rest of the way to 165 internal temp while sauce reduces, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 1446mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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9 Comments

  1. Brian Piper says:

    Husband in the kitchen and I’m cooking this for my wife tonight. Love the direct to recipe button at the top. Thanks for what you do!

  2. Wendy Gahles says:

    Could I use bone in thighs for this recipe? I think I’ll try it, just adjust the cooking time

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      Definitely! It will add a bit of cooktime, but just watch the temperature with a digital thermometer and it will be perfect!

  3. Susan Russell says:

    Receipes are great but the posts are annoyingly long ..check best practices for websites…no one likes to scroll…even with the disclaimer to scroll to the bottom…still too long ..too much other “stuff” and repeat pictures

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      While I understand your frustration, I get tons and tons of requests for the information you toss aside as “stuff” – there are a lot of people who read my website regularly and might not have the same comfort in the kitchen or the skills for things some might seem as basic. I’m trying to share my joy of creating delicious dishes to the widest audience possible.

      1. Janice Bell says:

        Hi Courtney,
        First let me tell you how much I enjoy your site. I love your recipes. I do however find it bothersome to do massive amounts of scrolling when I’m just searching for which recipe to make that day. How about you add a “direct to recipe” option at the beginning? It would be much appreciated. Thanks again for a great site!

      2. MT says:

        I agree, hun. It’s annoying and frustrating. I’m no longer interested in making the recipe

      3. Courtney ODell says:

        You can click the “skip to recipe” button at the top, which is clearly marked.

      4. Angie says:

        There really is hardly annoy blathering going on before the recipe is visible. I’ve seen much worse. This is just snotty remarks for the sake of being snotty. I’d love to see you talk to anyone like this in person. Not a chance in hell.