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20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken

5 from 5 votes
Total Time: 20 mins

Tender, juicy chicken smothered in a rich garlic sauce and topped with fresh basil! It is done entirely on the stovetop and can be on the dinner table in 20 minutes flat! And since it is made in one pan there is less clean-up too!

20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken

This was one of the first dinner recipes I created here in Arkansas. It has become a favorite that I make every few weeks and for good reasons. The pan-fried chicken is so juicy and tender while the sauce is rich and garlic-ey. I guarantee it will become a favorite in your house as well!

If you are craving more, check out my Feta & Onion Hot Dip and Italian Pasta Salad with Lemon Pesto Dressing.

Juicy Chicken Slices topped with fresh basil and smothered in garlic sauce. Close up shot of a slice.

Tips For Juicy Chicken Breasts

  1. Use a high quality cooking oil for searing (I like extra virgin olive oil). From the extended cooking times, if you use butter or a low quality oil it heats up to very high temperatures. Those high temperatures create smoke and burn your chicken with potentially acrid and unhealthy compounds.
  2. Cut your chicken breasts in half and pound to an even thickness. This tenderizes the chicken and allows them to cook more evenly and quicker.
  3. Be sure your pan is piping hot before adding your chicken breasts or they will not sear properly.
  4. Do not, I repeat, do not move the chicken breast at all once they are in the pan because it will also prevent them from searing and cooking properly.
  5. Once your chicken is cooked to 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit allow it to rest for five minutes. Resting allows the moisture to be re-absorbed and your meat will be tender and juicy.
Ingredients for 20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken. Chicken breast, garlic, butter, salt, pepper, chicken broth.

Making 20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken

Before starting, make sure all your chicken breasts are pounded thin and evenly. Next sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of your chicken breast and set aside. Add olive oil to your skillet and heat to medium-high heat. Place chicken carefully into the hot skillet and allow it to sear for six minutes.

Tip: Do not touch the chicken once it is in the skillet or it will not sear properly.

Flip over the chicken breast and allow it to sear on the second side for another six minutes. Again, do not touch the chicken. Once it is fully cooked remove the chicken breast from the skillet and set aside to rest.

Next is the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and the butter. Allow it to fully melt and while it does scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan (it add so much flavor). Add the garlic and stir continuously until fragrant. Do not cook for more than a few minutes or the garlic will burn and make your sauce taste bad. Finally add the chicken broth and allow it to come to a boil and reduce down. You may have to increase your heat for this to happen.

Once your sauce has thickened up remove it from the heat. Add your seared chicken back into the skillet and coat it in the sauce. Top with fresh basil and serve.

20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken- overhead shot of smothered chicken breast in garlic sauce in the pan heating together.

Chicken Broth Alternatives

You do not need to use chicken broth but you will need to replace it with equal parts of another liquid. Here are some alternatives:

  • dry white wine
  • water
  • one chicken bullion cube with water
  • vegetable broth
20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken. Sliced chicken breast on a dinner plate with fresh green basil on top. Surrounded by decorative basil and garlic.

What To Serve With 20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken

Because this recipe is done on the stove top I like to choose sides that require little attention.

My go-to is Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower because it is done in the same amount of time it takes to make the chicken. All you do is set your oven to 425 degrees, toss quartered potatoes and cauliflower in olive oil and seasoning of you choice, throw on a baking sheet, and bake for 15- 20 minutes.

I also like Steamed Rice and Broccoli. The rice only takes five minutes on the stovetop and the microwave steamed broccoli only takes about six minutes. To amp up the steamed broccoli I throw a tablespoon of butter and seasoning in the bag once it is done cooking and shake it up. I will spoon some of the garlic sauce over the rice which is super delicious.

Juicy Chicken Slices topped with fresh basil and smothered in garlic sauce.

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Juicy Chicken Slices topped with fresh basil and smothered in garlic sauce.

20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken

Elizabeth Swoish
Tender, juicy chicken smothered in a rich garlic sauce and topped with fresh basil! It is done entirely on the stovetop and can be on the dinner table in 20 minutes flat! And since it is made in one skillet there is less clean-up too!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 297 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cut in half and pounded thin (6 average sized breasts)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons butter; unsalted
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic; minced, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons basil; chopped and fresh

Instructions
 

  • Cut in half three large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Pound thin and evenly. You will have six average sized chicken breasts.
  • Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and set aside.
  • To a large skillet add the olive oil and heat to medium-high heat.
  • Once the skillet is hot add your chick and allow it to sear for six minutes. Do not move the chicken breast or it will not sear properly.
  • Flip and sear on the second side for another six minutes. Again, do not move the chicken breasts.
  • Remove the seared chicken breasts and set them aside to rest.
  • Add the butter to your hot pan. Use your spatula to scrape the bits left behind in your pan. Once the butter is melted allow it to brown for thirty seconds, stirring continually.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute, stirring continually.
  • Add the chicken broth and allow the liquid to boil and steam, this will make a thick sauce. Stir continuously for two to three minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Place the chicken back into the skillet, smother the seared chicken breasts in the sauce.
  • Top with the fresh basil, serve!

Video

Notes

You may have to sear your chicken in batches if you do not have a large enough skillet. 
 
Keyword CHICKEN, COOK, EASY MEALS, KID FRIENDLY RECIPES, MEAL PREP, ONE PAN, QUICK DINNERS, STOVE TOP

If you make my 20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken, don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating, comment, or like. Tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth when sharing your own personal photos making this recipe. I would love to see your version and know your thoughts!

By Elizabeth Swoish on July 10th, 2021

9 thoughts on “20 Minute Garlic Basil Chicken”

  1. 5 stars
    This was so simple and so flavorful! My kids adored it with a side of fettuccini Alfredo for a fun supper! Everything Elizabeth makes is stellar and super well tested; try this! You won’t be disappointed!

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