If you crave boneless and skinless chicken breasts with a golden crust, then follow this simple recipe on how to sear a chicken breast to perfection. You will learn everything you need to know about how to sear juicy and flavorful chicken breasts.
How to make the best seared chicken breast
- First things first, we will be using boneless and skinless chicken breasts.
- Pat dry chicken breasts with paper towel. Starting with dry chicken surface leads to a moister end result because the less water there is on the surface to start, the more quickly the chicken will brown.
- Don’t be afraid to season them well with salt and pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning, and really get lots of flavor out there!
- After seasoning the meat, allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Salting breaks down muscle fibers so they shrink less and retain more juices as they cook.
- Stainless steel skillets or cast iron pans conduct the heat very well and are perfect to use when searing chicken.
- Medium-high heat works best for searing, and it’s important to use the right oil such as vegetable, olive, canola, or peanut oil.
- The skillet must be hot before chicken is added. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (you can also use vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray) and heat your skillet on medium high heat. Add your chicken to the hot pan, emphasis on hot. You should hear a sizzle when chicken touches the pan.
- Resist the urge to move the chicken around as it cooks. Allowing the chicken to stay in the same place in the skillet ensures that the sear isn’t disrupted. You’ll notice that the chicken starts to release from the surface when it’s ready. If it’s sticking a lot to the pan, it’s not done searing.
- Flip the chicken only once. Cook your chicken until it is nice and brown on the first side, 4-5 minutes, and then flip and cook for 4-5 minutes longer.
How to season the chicken
I use Italian seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in almost every chicken recipe. These seasonings create a perfect combination of flavor to an otherwise boring chicken breast. You can get creative and sprinkle on some of your favorite spices such as taco seasoning or chili pepper.
What skillet is best for searing chicken
You will need a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet in order for chicken to have enough room to sear and not accumulate moisture. Large pan allows all liquids to evaporate quickly, contributing to a nice sear. The skillet also must be hot before chicken is added and you should hear a sizzle when chicken touches the pan.
Check if chicken is cooked all the way through
There are two ways to check if it’s done either by cutting the thickest part of the chicken to check if it’s pink or white or use a meat thermometer (it should register at 165 degrees).
If it’s not done, reduce heat, cover with lid and cook for a little bit longer. Using a lid at this point doesn’t affect the searing process and the chicken won’t be over-steamed if it’s cooked with a lid on at the very end only for a couple of minutes.
What to serve seared chicken with
How to make the best seared chicken
- 1 lb. chicken breasts thick (boneless and skinless)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Season the chicken generously with Italian seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat it to medium high. Add chicken to the hot pan, emphasis on hot. You should hear a sizzle when chicken touches the pan Cook until it is brown on the first side, 4-5 minutes, and then flip and cook for 4-5 minutes more on the other side.
- Check if chicken is cooked all the way through. I do it either by cutting the thickest part of the chicken to check if it’s pink or white or use a meat thermometer (it should register at 165 degrees). If it’s not done, reduce heat, cover with lid and cook for a little bit longer. Using a lid at this point doesn’t affect the sear.
- Chicken can be served as is or sliced in 1 inch strips
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