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Creamy Garlic Chicken

This Creamy Garlic Chicken is a comforting, deceptively simple, one-pot wonder made with pantry friendly ingredients that’s destined to become an intoxicatingly creamy favorite!  It transforms boring chicken into juicy, golden saucy chicken by simmering seared, lightly breaded chicken cutlets and caramelized garlic in a bath of luxurious Parmesan cream sauce studded with Italian herbs - without even making a roux! Serve this Garlic Chicken over mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, pasta, rice or cauliflower rice with Caesar salad and breadsticks and you have a lazy yet lavish repeat favorite!
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 24 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, paprika
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

CREAMY GARLIC PARMESAN SAUCE

  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk mixed with 1/2 TBS cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (granulated, crushed cube or better than bouillon)
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil or 1 TBS EACH fresh
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

  • Smash 5 garlic cloves with the blunt edge of the back of a knife and peel. Peel remaining whole cloves; set aside.
  • Slice the chicken breasts in the half through the equator to create 4 fillets. Cover with plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness (use a meat mallet or side of a can). Pat dry.
  • Whisk the flour and all chicken seasoning together in a shallow dish. Dredge each cutlet in the mixture, shake off any excess, then transfer to a dry surface.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet (I love my braiser) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and sear each side for 4-5 minutes (depending on thickness) until golden and cooked to 160 degrees F. If the drippings are starting to burn, turn down the heat (we don't want any black drippings!) Transfer chicken to a plate, don't wipe out skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add a drizzle of oil if needed to the chicken drippings. Add chopped shallot and smashed and whole garlic cloves. Sauté while scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan until shallots are softened and garlic is caramelized, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream. Mix chicken broth with cornstarch and add to the skillet followed by Worcestershire, Dijon, bouillon and all of the sauce seasonings.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer while scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; simmer until sauce thickens almost to desired consistency (it will continue to thicken once you add the Parmesan and chicken), stirring often. Whisk in Parmesan until melted followed by lemon juice.
  • Add chicken back to the pan and spoon some sauce over top. Gently simmer for 1 minute for the chicken to soak in the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Video

Notes

Recipe Variations

  • Add veggies: Add any chopped vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers etc. and sauté them after you’ve cooked the garlic for a few minutes.  If using frozen peas, thaw and stir in with the Parmesan to warm through.
  • Spinach: Use 2 cups baby spinach and add it to the sauce at the end of cooking; allow to wilt 1-2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms:  If you’re a mushroom lover, consider pan frying sliced baby Bella mushrooms, removing from the skillet then adding back to the sauce at the end of cooking. Check out my mushroom chicken recipe to see exactly how I cook perfect mushrooms.
  • Add tomatoes: Add one pint halved cherry tomatoes to the skillet with the garlic.
  • Add cheese: Add additional Parmesan to the sauce or layer the chicken with sliced Gouda, mozzarella, provolone, Swiss or Gruyere, cover and turn the skillet to low until the cheese melts.    

Prep Ahead

Yes!  While this Creamy Garlic Chicken doesn’t require much prep, you can still prep everything in advance so your dinner can come together in minutes.
  • Prep chicken:  Create chicken cutlets by slicing chicken breasts in half and pounding to an even thickens.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Dredge chicken:  Go one step further and dredge the chicken in flour and spices. Transfer the chicken to a parchment lined plate in a single layer and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
  • Chop aromatics: Chop the shallots and smash the garlic and store an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Grate cheese:  Grate the fresh Parmesan and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

  • To store: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days. 
  • To freeze:  I do not recommend freezing the chicken in the sauce because it can become a funny texture and separate. The chicken will freeze by itself without any problem. If you want to freeze the chicken with the sauce, use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream and omit the Parmesan.
  • To reheat in the microwave: Thinly slice or chop chicken so it reheats more evenly without becoming rubbery. Transfer to a microwave-safe dish and warm for one minute, stir, then continue to heat at 20-second intervals as needed. 
  • To reheat on the stove: Thinly slice or chop up chicken, transfer to a skillet. Heat over medium heat, stirring often.