Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken*

chicken, easy, fast, entree, brown sugar, garlic

Considering how well y’all took to me re-blogging the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, I decided to proclaim this week throwback week. So far I have managed to watch season one of Buffy, drink a Sonic Oceanwater with vodka (helloooo highschool, err ummm college), and listened to as many boy bands as Pandora could dish up.

Because of that, I now have LFO and Soul Decision back on my iphone. It’s pretty embarrassing since I am probably one of the only people who still remembers all the words… New Kids On The block had a bunch of hits, Chinese food makes me sick and I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer. I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch… You totally remember now right??!

Anyywhoo, to keep on rolling down memory lane I had to bring back my favorite dish from all of 2009. I blogged about this Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken almost 3 years ago, in July of 2009. The post is incredibly embarrassing…but because I am a glutton for punishment, you can see it here. While you wouldn’t know it from those old photos, this chicken is quite possibly my favorite way to prepare chicken on a weeknight.

The flavor is perfect, but it’s the simplicity that gets me. The recipe is so easy to remember because there are 4 main ingredients and you need 4 of each ingredient. All you need is a little butter, chicken, garlic, and brown sugar and you will get this sweet, garlic-y chicken that goes with just about everything.

Maybe it’s because I worship all of those ingredients like they belong in their own food group, but this is probably one of my favorite things from the old archives. And if that doesn’t sell you on it…It’s also cheap to make, you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, it takes almost no time at all and most importantly… it’s dang tasty. :-)



Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Yield: Serves 4

Recipe Note: Notice the pattern! Rule of 4's! 4 main ingredients and you need 4 of each! Super easy to remember when you are at the grocery store or in a rush. :)


  • 4 chicken breasts (appx 1.5 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant and the butter/garlic is starting to brown just slightly.

Add chicken, cover pan, and cook for 12 minutes. Flip chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked throughly (or has reached an internal temp of 165°F).

Sprinkle the tops of each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Cover pan with lid once more and let the brown sugar melt, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.


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62 Responses to “Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken”

  1. 1

    Ann — February 24, 2012 @ 1:23 am

    I gotta say – the recipe sounds FAB and your new pictures are terrific! Thank you SO much for showing us the old ones….I feel much better!

    Off to see if I can pull up the original “Electric Avenue” from iTunes!

  2. 2

    RJ (Kids and Cast Iron) — February 24, 2012 @ 1:50 am

    I know all the words too. Got to love the early pictures. We all have them. Least I know I do. Mine still need work. Will have to give this chicken a shot. Never can have too many ways to cook chicken.

  3. 3

    Jessica Lynn — February 24, 2012 @ 2:00 am

    That sounds wonderful and easy—nothing better than an easy dish on a weeknight! I’m glad you reblogged it, otherwise I probably never would have seen it!

  4. 4

    Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious — February 24, 2012 @ 2:10 am

    I love this rule of 4’s. More recipes should abide by this. It would make life much easier.

    And your pictures are beautiful. You’ve seriously come such a long way since 2009. Well done!

  5. 5

    Kathryn — February 24, 2012 @ 5:13 am

    OMG I loved that LFO song. I haven’t heard it for years and years. Proper blast from the past!

    I love how you’re revisiting old recipes, it’s so fun to see what’s in the archive and see what some of your favourites are! This sounds so delicious, I can imagine it entering our dinner rotation pretty quickly!

  6. 6

    Blog is the New Black — February 24, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    I eat so much chicken that I am always looking for ways to change it up- this looks like a tasty way to do so!

  7. 7

    Jessica @ How Sweet — February 24, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    Dude I am STILL obsessed with LFO. Have both CDs on my computer and often work out to them. Sick.

    • Jessica replied: — February 24th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

      I love you.

  8. 8

    Ammie — February 24, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    Sounds delicious! I love that you brought back some old recipes that some of us haven’t seen yet!

  9. 9

    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — February 24, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    I’m always looking for new chicken recipes, thanks for digging this one up for us!

  10. 10

    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — February 24, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    I love how simple this recipe is–to make *and* remember. And you’re right, I do have all that stuff in my kitchen right now! This is definitely going to be added to my weeknight rotation…and I’ll just have to play LFO while I make it. 😉

  11. 11

    Cassie — February 24, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    I saw a similar recipe recently in a magazine and loved the sweet/salty combo. This sounds amazing!

  12. 12

    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — February 24, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    When I regain my sense of smell, I want this is mah belly!!!

    By the way, Maculay Culkin was home alone. Fell deep in love but now we ain’t speakin’, Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton. 😉

    • Jessica replied: — February 24th, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      I knew I liked you for a reason! :)

  13. 13

    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — February 24, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    I love looking at people’s old photos! And I could totally sing every single word to that LFO song, it’s fine, we’re not old or anything. 😉

  14. 14

    DessertForTwo — February 24, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve been needing a good, easy & quick chicken recipe! Thanks! :)

  15. 15

    nat@thesweetslife — February 24, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    you are definitely not the only one who remembers the words to Summer Girls 😉

  16. 16

    Bev Weidner — February 24, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    1) Your shirt is dang cute.

    2) I love old posts! They make me giggle. Totes.

    3) Seriously if I can’t eat this garlic brown sugar chicken in the next 30 seconds….


  17. 17

    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — February 24, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Bahahaha! Thanks a lot now you got that dumb LFO song in my head! I’m definitely going to make this! I have all the ingredients and am super intrigued by the flavor combos!

  18. 18

    Home with Mandy — February 24, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    What beautiful pictures! I need to literally trash my blog, take photography classes and START OVER. My first post will be this chicken. I must make it soon, it looks and sounds amazing!!!

    • Jessica replied: — February 24th, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      Aw Mandy, I love your blog! Miss ya girl!

  19. 19

    Jeannette — February 24, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    talk to me when you can recite all the words to Butterfly by Crazytown. And if you can, we should be friends.

    This looks so good!! I’ll have to make this one a night when I’m lazy (that shouldn’t take too long) and when I have to make myself something separate from the hubs. Bookmarked!

    • Jessica replied: — February 24th, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      No joke, I totally can! Seriously!

  20. 20

    Christina @ ovenadventures — February 24, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    i consider a garlic a food group all of it’s own so i’m totally down for this chicken.

  21. 21

    ErinsFoodFiles — February 24, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    This looks like an awesome weeknight meal, or a meal to “assign” Nathan on his night to cook! As you know, I’ve been reading your blog a long time, but I don’t remember this one. Thanks for pulling it out of the archives!

  22. 22

    Joanne — February 24, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    (a) LOVE LFO. Still. Always. And forever. I wonder what happened to those boys…they were kind of a two hit wonder.

    (b) Mmm garlic brown sugar. That sounds swoonworthy.

  23. 23

    Jess — February 24, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

    This chicken looks soooo good! And no worries, I know all the words to that song too! Rich Cronin (the lead singer) went to my high school and his sister was in my class for a while! He sadly passed away a year or so ago from cancer, so I love that people still listen to and remember him through his cheesy music!

  24. 24

    Alison@Mama Wants This — February 25, 2012 @ 2:24 am

    I’m making this next week!

    I Pinned the picture from your original recipe and it got 141 repins! Needless to say, people know a good recipe when they see one :)

  25. 25

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — February 25, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    Any excuse to add sugar to dinner is kind of a win for me:-)

  26. 26

    Ang — February 25, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    This was soo good! My boyfriend and I loved it. Very easy to make. I used half the amount of butter called for and it still turned out great. Thank you

  27. 27

    Careisse — February 25, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

    Ha, I loved Buffy too, I actually own all seven seasons.
    This chicken looks simple and delicious, two of my favorite words! 😀

  28. 28

    shelly (cookies and cups) — February 27, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    This sounds like the perfect chicken! Pinning :)

  29. 29

    Tamara — February 27, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    I saw this on Friday and went home and made it after work. It was easy and delicious! My kids loved it too! It’s definitely going into my recipe box! By the way, the sauce was very yummy over rice.

  30. 30

    Shakeeta W — February 29, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    This looks really good!! And I’m one of those few who still remembers the words and I still have my TAPE of the album lol.

  31. 31

    Christine M — March 1, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Mmm looks so good! And now I have that song stuck in my head thanks lol 😉

  32. 32

    Sarah — March 3, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Cooked this the other night, but my chicken breasts were too thick and I ended up overcooking them. The sauce was deliciously addicting so I’ll be cooking these again tonight and adding mushrooms to absorb some of the flavors!

  33. 33

    Caite — March 8, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious! I have a hard time cooking chicken, but this was awesome. Thank you!! :)

    • Jessica replied: — March 8th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      So glad to hear it! Gotta love when a simple meal is also delicious! 😀

  34. 34

    Jen @ — March 10, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    I love simple recipes for weeknight meals. This sounds delicious.

  35. 35

    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — March 13, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    Making this for dinner tonight! I have been trying to make more simple recipes lately due to the lack of time, expense of ingredients, amongst other reasons. This recipe totally fits the bill! Thanks for sharing can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  36. 36

    Sharon — March 17, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    I just made this tonight and it was great! I really loved the simplicity of it and the delicious taste of the chicken. I am a self proclaimed dipper (always into something: bbq sauce, honey mustard) but I didn’t have to put anything on this delicious chicken!

  37. 37

    DENISE GREEN — April 19, 2012 @ 5:55 pm


  38. 38

    Penelope Baker — May 9, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    This looks like a wonderful recipe and I can’t wait to try it. In fact, it’s on the menu for this weekend with friends. It’s easy, quick and surely delish. Elegance with ease–just my style. Thanks for sharing.

  39. 39

    Kiran @ — May 17, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Gotta love a simple and yummy dinners!!! Never thought of putting brown sugar in anything savory like this :)

  40. 40

    Jessica — September 1, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    This looks yummy and is great for a quick meal!

    As far as the LFO comment goes…That song brings back so many memories, but I never would have equated it to being old! Eeeek! I guess it’s time to come to terms with that awful fact!

  41. 41

    Cheryl — September 24, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    I made this tonight and it was good but will be better the next time around as I will know more about what I’m doing!
    I seasoned my chicken with some special seasoning we like and lots of pepper. Next time I’ll use just plain salt and pepper but regardless, my husband went back for seconds so I would say it was a success! Thanks for sharing!

  42. 42

    Ashley — October 7, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    I tried this and did not like the combination of flavors. I should have gone with my instinct that I didn’t think brown sugar and garlic went well together.

  43. 43

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  44. 44

    Aimee @ See Aimee Cook — November 5, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was delicious! We loved the garlic ‘n sugar mix – and I loved the simplicity even more! My photos are awful compared to yours but I did share it on my blog today :) Thanks for passing it on – it’s definitely a keeper!

  45. 45

    Shar — November 19, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    I just made this tonight and it was great! I really loved the simplicity of it and the delicious taste of the chicken. I am a self proclaimed dipper (always into something: bbq sauce, honey mustard) but I didn’t have to put anything on this delicious chicken!

  46. 46

    The Novice Chef » Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken — November 19, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    […] UPDATED POST!!!  As someone who is very picky when it comes to my proteins (I eat mostly all poultry with occasional beef), I am always looking for a new fun way to cook chicken. Recently I stumbled upon this recipe on I made just a few changes and it was DELICIOUS! I was so pleasantly surprised as was Jorge! It only took me 15 mintues to make and is one of those great recipes that you generally have all of the ingredients already in your fridge/pantry. […]

  47. 47

    Paleo Sweet Garlic Chicken — January 21, 2013 @ 12:02 am

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  48. 48

    Four-Ingredient Stovetop Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken | The Busy Foodie — January 23, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

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  49. 49

    Brianna — April 26, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    This looks delicious! About how long does it take for the chicken to cook all the way through after the covered 12 minutes? Sorry for the dumb question – i always overcook things in fear of poisoning my family with uncooked beef/poultry 😉

    • Jessica replied: — April 29th, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

      It depends on the thickness of your chicken breasts. If you are not comfortable cooking chicken, I suggest buying a meat thermometer! They are not expensive and you will never overcook (or undercook) chicken again! :-)

  50. 50

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  51. 51

    Crystal — September 14, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    I made this tonight- Have to say, it’s amazing!!

  52. 52

    Lisa — February 1, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the reminder about this recipe! It was on our weekly rotation for a while but then my husband was in the hospital and I lost track of my recipes.

    My whole family loves this recipe and I can’t wait to surprise them with it again! Thanks!!

  53. 53

    Jen — February 9, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

    Looks yummy! Are the chicken breasts boneless/skinless? Skin on? Thanks!!

  54. 54

    The Novice Chef » Reece’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies — April 24, 2014 @ 12:06 am

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  55. 55

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