Spicy and bold-tasting, this 30-minute recipe elevates the humble chicken breast into a wonderfully flavorful dish.
Making blackened chicken is as easy as can be: Simply rub the chicken with spices, sauté it briefly, then bake!
I make chicken often for my family. It's tasty and affordable, and everyone seems to like it, including The Picky Eater.
This recipe has quickly become one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken. It's very tasty, everyone around here loves it, and it's also truly easy to make. Even the leftovers are excellent, and later on, I'll discuss a few ideas for how to use them.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this blackened chicken recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Lots of spices: I use a mixture of paprika, dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the spices you use are fresh! A stale spice can ruin a dish.
- Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use by half, or the dish could end up too salty.
- Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. I haven't experimented with other cuts, although chicken thighs should work too.
- Avocado oil: This is an excellent oil for high-temperature cooking. Melted ghee should work too. I don't recommend using olive oil in this recipe. Its smoke point is too low for super high-heat cooking.
Making blackened chicken is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by mixing together the spices and salt.
- Next, coat the chicken with oil and sprinkle it with spices.
- Cook the chicken pieces in a cast-iron skillet, then finish cooking them in a 450°F oven for 10-12 minutes. Let them rest before serving to ensure they remain nice and juicy.
If your chicken breasts are larger than 8 oz each, they will need more time in the oven - around 15 minutes. In this case, loosely cover the pan with foil to prevent the tops from burning.
Frequently asked questions
Blackened food is coated in some kind of fat (such as butter or oil), then coated in a mixture of spices and cooked in a cast-iron skillet until the coating becomes very dark, almost black.
No, and I actually make sure I don't burn the chicken. The dark color comes from the spices becoming charred, not from the chicken itself being burnt.
It's a mix of various Cajun-style spices, such as paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. The chicken will come out juicier. You might need to adjust the cooking time - it's best to use a thermometer to check for doneness.
- Change up the spices you use. For example, you could use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika, and dried oregano instead of dried thyme.
- Instead of avocado oil, you can use melted butter or ghee.
Blackened chicken goes with anything, really. It's a truly versatile main course. But since I bake it in a 450°F oven, I like to serve it with a side dish that I can cook in the same oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days.
If you reheat them, do so very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Reheated chicken is often a bit dry, so I actually prefer to use the leftovers cold, thinly sliced, as a salad topping the next day for my lunch. They're excellent in this chicken cobb salad.
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Perfect Blackened Chicken
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or avocado oil spray
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and kosher salt.
- Brush (or spray) the chicken breasts with the oil on both sides, then sprinkle both sides with the seasoning mixture, pressing with your fingers to help the coating adhere.
- Heat a well-seasoned, large cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking hot, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken breasts. Cook for 30 seconds on each side to blacken, then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking for 10-12 minutes. The chicken is done when no longer pink in the center, when juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and when its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.*
- Remove the chicken to a platter, loosely cover it with foil to keep it warm, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.