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One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli – Fast Food Friday

This simple recipe for One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with broccoli and penne is perfect for busy weeknights. Made in one pot, tossed with penne and broccoli it’s fast, fresh, and satisfying.

One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli in a dutch oven

Fast food Fridays! Also known as how I cook in real life most days. AFTER all the recipe development. Minus all the photo shoots.

Of course we eat EVERYTHING I share here. Many of those recipes fall squarely in my weekly rotation. But Fast Food Friday is a little peek into me, hungry boys, limited time, and zero desire to go back to the grocery store.

Fast Food Fridays are all about fewer photos, fewer words, and good food you can feed your family. One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli and Penne is a simple, budget-friendly recipe, and it has come together easily for me every time.

But since I published this recipe in 2016 I’ve had lots of questions in the comments, so I spent some time revisiting this to give you some tips and tricks so that your One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli will turn out every time. It’s the easiest – I promise. 

What do I need to make One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli?

First things first – for this recipe you DO need an oven safe pot. A cast iron skillet will work, but I have never had one that’s quite deep enough. I use this Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Dutch Oven. I’ve had it for a couple of years and it had help up okay. If you are looking for a kitchen item to splurge on (or people are looking to buy you presents) DEFINITELY go for the Le Creuset Dutch Oven. 7.4 quarts if you can swing it. The next size down will be a little small. 

Aside from an oven safe pot that’s deep enough for this whole meal, you will also need:

  • olive oil
  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs; wings and drumsticks also work! 
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • garlic
  • cooking liquid; I recommend wine (or beer!) and chicken broth 
  • dry penne pasta
  • fresh broccoli florets
  • Parmesan cheese

You’ll notice in some of these photos I used wings and drummettes here; I didn’t change anything about the preparation that round. I just accidentally bought a few odd packages of chicken. And since Fast Food Fridays are all about keeping it real, I made the executive decision to just roll with it. Now you know that you can accidentally buy wings or drumsticks and it’s all good. 

One Pot Garlic Chicken with penne and fresh broccoli in the pot, tossed with cheese, and ready to serve

Liberal Salt and Pepper

Season your chicken WELL. Seriously. Don’t skimp. This salt + pepper and the garlic is how you are seasoning this entire dish, so grab your salt and pepper and USE IT. You’ll want to season both sides of the chicken pieces before cooking them, and I like to go heavy on the side with the skin. That way when you are cooking with the skin-side down you are sealing in all the flavor, but also are seasoning the oil you’ll be cooking everything else in. 

Someone once commented that her finished dish was lacking flavor, and if that was the case, this is for sure where she went wrong. 

One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli and Penne

How Much Liquid Do I Need?

This is the part of the recipe that seems to trip everyone up. So first let’s talk about a one pot pasta versus traditional pasta. 

With traditional pasta you are draining the excess water from the pan. With one pot pasta you want the pasta to soak it all up. This means that measurements matter. Too much liquid and you have a soupy mess. Not enough and your pasta isn’t done.

The first time you are adding liquid to this recipe is to quickly braise the chicken after browning. In order you are going to brown the chicken, skin-side down to get the skin nice and crisp. Turn it and cook for another 3-4 minutes, and then for the best results here, remove the chicken to a plate so that you can add and cook your garlic. Once you’ve sauteed the garlic, you are adding 1 1/2 cups of liquid to deglaze the pan and then braise the chicken.

My favorite way is to use 3/4 cup white wine to loosen all the garlicky goodness. That lets most of the alcohol start to evaporate BEFORE you put the pan in the oven. Then add 3/4 cup chicken broth, add the chicken back to the pan SKIN SIDE UP, and bake uncovered. 

One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli

One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs with Broccoli is a super quick and easy meal to make in a pinch. Crisp chicken thighs, garlic, penne pasta, and tender broccoli florets - you can't go wrong!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper (or to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth - see notes
  • 2 2/3 cups dry penne pasta (approximately 2/3 cup per person)
  • 5 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • garnish with a little more olive oil and Parmesan cheese if desired

Instructions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large OVEN SAFE Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high.

  2. Step 2

    Sprinkle the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper and place them in the heated Dutch oven skin-side-down. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes. You want to crisp the skin. Turn the chicken and cook for 3-4 more minutes, adding the garlic after 2 mins. Move the garlic around so it cooks and becomes fragrant but DOES NOT burn.

  3. Step 3

    Add the liquid to the hot pot and then place it in the oven. Cook for 20 mins or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 160°F.

  4. Step 4

    CAREFULLY place the hot dutch oven on a burner. Remove the chicken. Leave the liquid and cooked bits. Add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Add the pasta, reduce the heat to medium, and let it cook for about 6 minutes. Then add the broccoli florets. Stir and cover.

  5. Step 5

    Cook for 3 more minutes or until the broccoli is tender but still bright green and the pasta is al dente.

  6. Step 6

    Garnish with a little more olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • You DO need an oven safe pot for this recipe to be "one pot".
  • If you don't have a cast iron Dutch oven (or enameled like Le Creuset) don't fret!! You can use a cast iron skillet for the chicken and then just cook the pasta on the stove according to package instructions, adding the broccoli florets to the boiling water near the end. If this is the method you choose you will need to drain the excess liquid.
  • Notes on the liquid: I use whatever I have handy. If I have an open bottle of wine I didn't love, I use that. Beer always works. The different liquids will change the flavor slightly, but in a good way! DO NOT USE ONLY WINE OR BEER though, or you are in danger of creating a tiny explosion in your oven. Temper the wine or beer with broth or water.
  • If you want to cook the whole pound of pasta you will need closer to 4 cups of water or broth in
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0 Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 0g
You can see my last Fast Food Friday recipe for Easy Greek Chicken and Potatoes#FastFoodFriday  <<<— HERE

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Joanne

Friday 26th of April 2019

this recipe cannot be written correctly. I can cook and I cook A LOT. I am making this right now and first of all, I had to put the chicken under the broiler after removing it from the oven. It will never stay that crispy by soaking in liquid.. Also, the chicken thighs you used must be tiny because 6 chicken thighs barely fit in the bottom of my "high end" dutch oven. There was no room to even add the garlic The amount of liquid vs the pasta would most defiantly be too much. Knowing this, I added a whole box of pasta (why would you call for 2 and 2/3 cups?). Anyway, even with a whole box of pasta, there is waaaay to much liquid. I'm serving it now and the flavor is bland. Not impressed at all with recipe.

Sarah

Monday 1st of October 2018

I just bought a dutch oven and was looking for recipes that my super picky boys might like. This recipe really works well for our family, and was a breeze to prepare. The chicken is savory and not overpowering for developing palettes, the penne is a fun new shape for my little guys and adds a nice texture, and the broccoli is a familiar favorite. This no-fuss recipe is being added to our weekly rotation.

Heather Tullos

Monday 1st of October 2018

Thank you so much,Sarah! I am so glad you guys enjoyed this!

Rachael

Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Making this now for the first time and figured I'd jump on the wine band wagon and have a glass :)

Heather Tullos

Saturday 4th of August 2018

Um yes. Wine required.

Hope you enjoy, Rachel!

Darryl

Sunday 29th of July 2018

Would this be good with brussel sprouts instead of broccoli? Or is the flavor profile too far off? I'm really looking forward to trying it, but I've got a load of brussel sprouts that I'd like to use before going out and buying broccoli. Thanks!

Katie

Saturday 11th of May 2019

Judy Roberts, love your feedback!!! Had me giggling!!! Hope my dish turns out well. I too am very spectacle about the 4 cups of liquid, I'm contemplating making the penne pasta in a separate pot. I'm doing a California medley with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. We will see how this turns out! 😉 I did add rosemary, thyme and the four cloves of garlic. I used chicken broth as my liquid. However I did use three leg quarters instead of thighs fingers crossed!

Heather Tullos

Monday 30th of July 2018

You can definitely try it! Brussels sprouts DO take a little longer to cook though so i would half or quarter them to help with cook time :)

Julia

Thursday 31st of May 2018

I followed it to a T, except I only had boneless skinless thighs. It was a soupy bland mess, I reread the instructions thinking I must have missed something, but I didn’t. I will say that I should have used chicken broth instead of water. I put red peppe flakes and garlic salt to try and help it get some umph. I wish this would have been better.

Heather Tullos

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

So ... "followed it to a T" does not include using boneless skinless chicken thighs You did it wrong. I wish you were a better cook. Sorry :/