Tender chicken thighs are smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce in this Low Carb Chicken Thighs with Cream Sauce recipe that’s perfect for a low-carb meal.
Along with being low carb, this meal is also keto-friendly, and gluten- and grain-free. That makes it pretty much the perfect thing to serve your guests when there are tough food restrictions.
It’s delicious, especially with the mushrooms and thyme adding wonderful savory notes and aromas. If you’re looking for a new way to serve chicken thighs, give this recipe a try.
I often make this meal for my husband and I so I half the recipe and just make 2 chicken thighs. This is a great way to make just the right amount and not have leftovers. Of course, you can also double the recipe, if you want.
Ingredients You Need
- Chicken thighs – In this recipe, we use a bone-in and skin-on chicken thigh. You can also use boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, but it won’t have as much flavor.
- Salt and black pepper – This is what really brings the flavor out in this dish, so be sure to add the salt and pepper. You might also taste the dish once it’s done cooking and add more to suit your taste.
- Butter – I use salted butter to add an extra element of flavor.
- Shallot – Shallots have a less strong taste than onions, which is why we use them in this recipe, so they don’t overpower the cream sauce.
- Mushroom – You can use button or white mushrooms in this recipe, or get creative with another type of mushroom that you like.
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic that hasn’t been kept in the refrigerator for too long. This has the best flavor and no bitterness that comes from older garlic.
- Thyme – Thyme is my spice of choice when it comes to chicken, but you can also add rosemary, basil, or oregano.
- Chicken broth – Use a low-sodium broth to not add extra salt to the dish. You can also use water mixed with bouillon cubes.
- Heavy cream – Use a full-fat cream for the most silky rich sauce, or use half-and-half for a lighter version.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated Parmesan mixes with the cream and makes a heavenly sauce fully of robust flavor.
- Lemon – Adds a bright note of acidity to the meal.
How to Make Chicken Thighs With Cream Sauce
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken, skin side down and cook until the skin is golden, about 6-8 minutes. You’re not trying to fully cook the chicken in this step, just crisp the skin.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
Remove excess grease from the pan and turn the heat down to medium low. Add the butter and when it’s melted add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan and saute for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked down and slightly browned.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
Pour in the chicken broth and let it bubble up and incorporate for a few minutes.
Then add the heavy cream. Whisk to combine and simmer for 5 minutes so the sauce can thicken a bit. Then add the Parmesan cheese and stir.
Add the chicken back to the pan, skin side up. Continue to cook on medium low until the chicken is cooked to 175 degrees F in the center. It’s important to use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken gets cooked through. It will take about 15-20 minutes.
During this time, the sauce will reduce and thicken even more. If it becomes too thick for you, just add a bit more chicken broth or cream to the pan and stir it in.
When it’s done, pour the sauce onto a plate and top it with the chicken and mushrooms. Serve with a spritz of lemon on top.
Tips and Notes
- Be sure to pat the chicken skin to dry it before seasoning with salt and pepper and frying it in the pan. This will lead to the crispiest skin, which is a key factor in the flavor and texture of the dish.
- While frying your chicken, make sure to space it out. Don’t pack the saucepan with the chicken. This might mean that you need a large pan, depending on the size of your chicken.
- Once you’ve placed the chicken back into the pan, don’t turn it skin-side down in the sauce. If you do, the skin will lose it’s crispiness and might become soggy.
How To Store and Reheat
You can store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3–4 days. When you’re ready to use it again, simply reheat it in a saucepan or the microwave.
You can eat or serve this meal with cauliflower rice, green beans, roasted vegetables, or zucchini noodles to round out the meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of chicken works best?
Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs work best for several reasons. When you crisp and brown the skin, it retains a lot of flavor and texture that other pieces of chicken won’t have. It’s also the juiciest part of the chicken, so you don’t risk your chicken being dry.
Is chicken thigh or breast better for keto meals?
Chicken thighs are best for low-carb or keto meals because they contain more fat than breast meat. With the skin on, the fat count increases even more.
What is the difference between shallots and onions?
Shallots are smaller oblong-shaped balls, whereas onions are rounder and much bigger. Shallots have a milder taste than onions. It’s because of their milder taste that they’re recommended for this recipe. But if you can’t find them, you can always substitute with onions.
Chicken Thighs With Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small shallot chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 lemon sliced
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Remove excess grease from the pan and turn heat down to medium low. Add the butter. When melted, add the shallots and mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are reduced and slightly browned. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth and let it bubble for a minute, then add the heavy cream. Whisk to combine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the Parmesan cheese and stir.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, skin side up, and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked to 175 degrees F in the center.
- Serve with a spritz of lemon on top.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.