Spicy and bold, blackened chicken elevates the humble chicken breast into a wonderfully flavorful dish. Simply rub with spices, sauté briefly, and bake!
I make chicken often for my family – it’s tasty and affordable, and everyone seems to like it, including The Picky Eater. But while the kids don’t mind eating the same thing every day, my husband and I prefer some variety. So I’m always looking for ways to make things more interesting!
Blackened chicken has quickly become one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken breast. It’s very tasty, everyone around here loves it, and it’s also VERY easy to make. Even the leftovers are excellent, and later on, I’ll discuss a few ideas for how to use them.
A great way to add flavor to chicken
When I started improving diet, I ate a lot of chicken breast. I found a way to make a juicy baked chicken breast, and I made it often. It’s easy, affordable, and convenient.
Still, once in a while I buy chicken breast at the grocery store. Chicken breast can be boring, but when it’s blackened, it’s anything but!
Spicy and bold, this dish is delicious when hot, but leftovers are just as good when cold, in a sandwich if you eat bread, or sliced and served over mixed greens.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty 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, 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.
Avocado oil: This is an excellent oil for high-temperature cooking. Melted butter should work too.
How to make blackened chicken
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Start by mixing together the spices and salt.
Coat the chicken with oil and sprinkle it with the spices.
Cook the chicken pieces in a cast-iron skillet to blacken them, then finish cooking them in a 450°F oven, 10-12 minutes. Let them rest before serving.
Is blackening good for you?
Blackening walks a fine line between “done” and “burned.” And charred, burned foods should not be consumed regularly or in large quantities.
In this particular recipe, we finish the chicken in the oven, so it doesn’t become very charred, as you can see in the photos. Still, I choose to only make this recipe about once a month.
How to serve blackened chicken?
With anything! It’s a very 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:
What about leftovers?
You can keep 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. I 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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- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 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 30 seconds on each side to blacken, then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, 10-12 minutes. Chicken is done when no longer pink in the center, when juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.*
- Remove the blackened chicken to a platter, loosely cover them with foil to keep them warm, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.