Juicy cast iron chicken thighs are pan fried with fresh garlic, chicken broth, and pickle juice. The pickle juice adds delicious flavor. The cast iron skillet distributes heat evenly, so the thighs are perfectly cooked!
For a tasty low carb keto dinner, serve the chicken thighs over cauliflower rice that's topped with the flavorful pan juices. These easy stove top chicken thighs are low carb, keto, and gluten free!
Stove top chicken thighs are always tender and juicy. That's one reason I prefer thighs - it's really really hard to overcook them. Soon to become your favorite go-to chicken thigh recipe 🙂
If you love the twang of dill pickle juice, you'll also love the lemon twang of my Lemon Pepper Chicken cooked in fun foil packets! For now, let's get back to this awesome chicken dinner recipe!
Why We Love This Recipe
You may be wondering "why pickle juice" but I can assure you it definitely adds a unique flavor to chicken! If you've ever eaten chicken or turkey that has been brined in dill pickle juice, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Moreover, if you've ever eaten chicken from chick-fil-a you know how wonderful pickle juice and chicken go together.
Adding pickle juice to these cast iron chicken thighs during the cooking process adds that delightful flavor; it's not overpowering at all, it's just a hint of pickle juice flavor. So don't throw out your leftover pickle juice!
If you're looking for more ways to use leftover dill pickle juice, check out this article from Garden and Gun Ten Ways to Use Leftover Pickle Juice.
I like to serve cast iron chicken thighs on top of cauliflower rice. The pan drippings add a ton of flavor to the cauliflower rice!
Chicken thighs - use bone-in, skin on for the best flavor and juicy chicken.
Dill pickle juice - you can easily double the recipe amount for more flavor!
Chicken broth - use the canned chicken broth or bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water.
Olive oil - coconut oil works very well, too.
Minced garlic - keep a jar of minced garlic in your refrigerator; it's easy and handy for all your recipes.
Salt and pepper to taste - taste test for flavor first, before adding salt.
Frozen cauliflower rice - serve on top of cauliflower rice for an easy, complete meal. Steamed per directions on the bag (or make your own cauliflower rice per directions below).
Cast iron chicken thighs are cooked on the stove top and easy to make! They do take time though, because of the bone-in chicken thighs.
STEP 1: Add olive oil and minced garlic to large cast iron skillet. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Season the chicken thighs with black pepper and sear both sides over medium-high heat until the skin is golden brown.
STEP 2: Once the chicken thighs are browned, add pickle juice and ½ cup chicken broth to the pan. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, then turn each thigh over and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Once tender, remove chicken thighs from the skillet to a separate platter. Cover and keep warm.
STEP 3: Make the pan sauce: add the remaining cup of chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and continue cooking until the sauce reduces by one-half.
STEP 4: While the pan sauce is reducing, prepare the cauliflower rice per the directions on the bag. Serve chicken thighs over steamed cauliflower rice and drizzle with the pan sauce.
Here are just a few easy tips to help ensure you get the best results when making these cast iron chicken thighs!
Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel before you season them.
If you have the time, salt and pepper under the skin before you sear them.
Instead of cauliflower, serve with steamed broccoli. Be sure to spoon the pan sauce over the cooked broccoli - it's so good!
Frequently Asked Questions
To make your own cauliflower rice using fresh cauliflower, pulse 1 head of cauliflower florets in a food processor or grate by hand to create rice-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat before adding cauliflower. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover, and steam for approximately 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and serve as desired.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store in airtight containers. I like to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids from Bayco. These containers are great for meal prep, too! Available now on Amazon.
Browning, or searing, chicken before cooking seals in the juices, creates tender meat, and crispy flavorful skin!
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Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup dill pickle juice add more dill pickle juice if the skillet gets too dry.
- 1-½ cups chicken broth
- 16 oz frozen cauliflower rice
- Add olive oil and minced garlic to large cast iron skillet. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. For added flavor, lift the skin and season under there, too (see notes below). Sear both sides over medium-high heat until the skin is golden brown.
- Once the chicken thighs are browned, add pickle juice and ½ cup chicken broth to the pan. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, then turn each thigh over and continue cooking another 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Once tender, remove chicken thighs from skillet to a separate platter. Cover and keep warm.
- Make the pan sauce: add remaining cup of chicken broth to the cast iron skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Scrape brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and continue cooking until the sauce reduces by one half.
- While the pan sauce is reducing, prepare the cauliflower rice per the directions on the bag. Serve chicken thighs on top of steamed cauliflower rice and drizzle with the pan sauce.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.
This recipe was originally published in 2019 and was updated in 2022.