This blackened chicken is chicken breasts coated in butter and a homemade seasoning blend, then seared to create a dark crust. The most delicious and flavorful chicken that can be enjoyed on its own or added to other dishes such as salads and pasta.
My local restaurant serves up the best blackened chicken – it’s tender, juicy and full of flavor. I’ve learned how to make this dish at home and it’s surprisingly easy to do!
What is blackened chicken?
This dish is called blackened because it’s seared in a cast iron pan to create a dark golden brown, or “black” crust on the meat. The spices and butter both brown as they cook. Blackened chicken is popular in Cajun cuisine.
How do you make blackened chicken?
Start by making your blackening seasoning. Coat chicken breasts with melted butter, then sprinkle the seasoning all over the chicken. Sear the chicken on both sides until the dark crust forms, then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy.
How to make blackened seasoning
Blackened seasoning is a combination of an assortment of herbs and spices and it typically includes paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper. Place all of the herbs and spices in a small bowl, then stir until everything is combined. Transfer the seasoning mix to a resealable container or jar, then store in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use it.
Tips for the perfect chicken
- Be sure to choose chicken breasts that are similar in shape and size so that they cook at the same rate.
- The traditional way to sear the chicken for this dish is to use a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, try another heavy pan such as enamelware.
- Watch your chicken very carefully as it sears. You want the spices to darken, but not get so dark that they burn.
- Serve your chicken sliced over Cajun style rice with a green vegetable on the side for a hearty main course option. You can also slice the chicken and serve it over a green salad, toss it in creamy pasta or use it in a wrap.
- This recipe is fairly mild when it comes to heat. If you prefer spicier chicken, feel free to increase the amount of cayenne pepper to taste.
- Blackened chicken will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, which makes it great for meal prep.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN CHICKEN IS DONE?
You can tell when your chicken is done by either cutting into it, or using a probe style meat thermometer. If you slice into the thickest part of the chicken breast, there should be no pink remaining and the juices should be clear. The most accurate way to tell if your chicken is done is to use a thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. The temperature should be at least 165 degrees F to be considered safe to eat.
I make this blackened chicken on a regular basis – it’s a great way to spice up plain old chicken breasts!
More chicken dishes to try
Blackened Chicken Video
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 1/4 lbs
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- Place the smoked paprika, sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, oregano, basil and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Brush the melted butter all over both sides of the chicken. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the chicken, using your hands to press the spices into the meat.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Brush the skillet with vegetable oil. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until a dark brown crust forms.
- Place the pan in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.