There are nights when you feel like creating a masterpiece in the kitchen – something with perfectly balanced flavors that tastes refined and totally crave-worthy – and then there are nights when you just want to get dinner on the table however you can. When it comes to the latter, your time in the kitchen has a way of feeling a little bit frenzied and the end results can end up feeling sort of lackluster. But there’s no reason to settle for that! With a recipe like this incredibly easy Creamy Garlic Chicken, you can have dinner on the table in less than a half an hour, and it still tastes like a masterpiece.
You see, this dish involves little more than browning some chicken and then letting it simmer briefly in cream. The remaining ingredient list is fairly simple – some lemon, thyme, tarragon, a little white wine, and a whole lot of garlic – but the flavors go together so well that it achieves this full-bodied balance that makes it taste like it took much longer than it really did. As long as you cut the chicken up into bite-size pieces, it cooks up super quick, no longer than 25 minutes.
This dish is certainly not shy in its use of garlic, but it really mellows as it simmers gently in the cream. Thyme and tarragon bring in a nice earthiness, but you can use a different combination of the two or leave one out entirely if you’d like. It’s creamy as can be, but doesn’t taste too heavy; a little lemon zest and juice brighten it right up. Around here, we’re all about quick meals, but we’re especially all about quick meals that taste amazing. Just like this one.
Creamy Garlic Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.
- Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Take care not to crowd pan, work in two batches if necessary. Remove browned chicken to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium, and add garlic and lemon zest to pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and pour in wine or broth, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add cream and herbs and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and juices back to pan, cover partially, and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice and check seasoning. Serve, and enjoy!