Cast Iron Chicken thighs with garlic, a whole head of garlic to be exact. This skillet chicken recipe is easy to prepare and uses mostly pantry staples but it is oh, so delicious. Garlic Lovers-- you're not going to want to miss this garlicky, sweet, and spicy recipe!
I LOVE cooking with boneless skinless chicken thighs. They are flavorful, tender, and cheaper than chicken breasts and chicken tenderloins. They also stay moist when cooking which is a major plus. Some of my other favorite chicken thigh recipes are crock pot tuscan chicken thighs and healthy teriyaki chicken thighs.
For a bone in chicken thighs recipe, try these Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel.
In this skillet chicken thigh recipe, you brown them in butter and sesame oil for a rich base, and then add loads of garlic cloves and a spicy honey soy sauce mixture. Letting them finish in the oven ensures that they are cooked through and gives you time to work on any sides-- I suggest rice and a veggie like broccoli or asparagus.
Michael and I were discussing, and this garlic chicken thigh recipe would be perfect to serve for a special occasion like Valentine's Day or an anniversary. It is not difficult to make, but it definitely feels special. As an added bonus, because it calls for chicken thighs, there is a much lower chance for the meat to dry out (for anyone wanting reassurance that this recipe for a special day with turn out).
Why you'll love this Cast Iron Chicken Thigh Recipe
- One Pan. Using your cast iron skillet means less dishes. Simply start the dish on the stove and finish the chicken in the oven, at all steps using the same skillet. Less mess and cast iron is a safe, non-toxic cooking vessel.
- Garlic. It is made with a whole head of garlic. I always use a lot of garlic when cooking, but this is a new record even for me. It's one of my favorite things I have ever made. Cooks who measure garlic with their hearts? This one's for you!
- Flavorful. The flavor in this is so robust-- but it's very easy to put together. The roasted garlic just melts in your mouth.
- Cheap. This recipe proves that you can eat well on a budget! The organic chicken thighs were 2.49 for a little over a pound on sale. You could definitely use bone in chicken thighs as well, and just cook them a little longer in the oven. Garlic is always cheap, and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. Add rice and a veggie on the side of this, and you could feed a family of four for around 6-7 dollars!
Ingredients for honey garlic chicken thighs
- boneless skinless chicken thighs
- butter (you can sub in olive oil or coconut oil if you want to make this dairy free)
- sesame oil
- whole head of garlic (about 15-20 garlic cloves)
- soy sauce
- chili paste (optional)
How to make chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat add butter and allow butter to melt. Place chicken thighs into cast iron pan and cook until each side is nicely browned and a bit crispy (about 5 minutes on each side).
While the chicken is cooking, peel all of your garlic. I like to leave it whole. If some of the cloves are especially large, I will cut them in half.
Add garlic to skillet with browned chicken.
In a small bowl, stir together honey, chili paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce and pour sauce over top of the partially cooked chicken thighs.
Carefully transfer skillet, uncovered, to the preheated oven.
Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to serve cast iron skillet chicken thighs
We normally stay pretty simple and serve our cast iron chicken thighs with vegetables and rice. The sauce is so tasty poured over the rice! Some of our favorite vegetables to pair with chicken thighs are broccoli, peas, asparagus, and green beans. We just steam them because it's easiest.
If you want to try a flavored rice recipe, I suggest this Instant Pot Rice Pilaf with Veggies.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. This dish heats up really well in the microwave and makes a great meal prep recipe.
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Garlic
- 1-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 15-20 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. chili paste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat add butter and allow butter to melt. Place chicken thighs into cast iron pan and cook until each side is nicely browned and a bit crispy (about 5 minutes on each side).
- While the chicken is cooking, peel all of your garlic. I like to leave it whole. If some of the cloves are especially large, I will cut them in half.
- Add garlic to skillet with browned chicken.
- In a small bowl, stir together honey, chili paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce and pour sauce over top of the partially cooked chicken thighs.
- Carefully transfer skillet, uncovered, to the preheated oven.
- Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.