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Published August 28, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Learn how easy it is to cook boneless chicken breasts that are juicy, tender, and flavorful and come out perfect every single time.
Cooking perfect chicken breasts can be challenging, but I’ve got a foolproof procedure that I’ve been using for years, and it works every time. Understanding cooking techniques are the fundamental and most important thing when it comes to cooking, and perfectly pan-roasting this chicken falls under that umbrella.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast
Pan roasting allows you to get that perfect delicious golden-brown crust while being juicy and tender throughout, plus it takes less than 16 minutes from start to finish to cook.
It’s the process of heating a pan with oil until it begins to smoke lightly. Then add in the chicken and sear it until well browned. You can finish it on the stovetop while adjusting the heat or finish it in the oven. I like to use either cast iron or stainless-steel pans since they don’t give off any funky chemicals.
How Long Do You Cook It For?
When pan roasting, it should take between 12 and 15 minutes for a 7 to 9-ounce chicken breast to cook completely through.
In addition, all proteins, including these, should rest for 2-4 minutes before serving.
The Trick to Moist Chicken
The key to making them moist is not overcooking them. I know that is simple and easier said than done, but with these foolproof cooking procedures, it can happen.
Another way to ensure that it is not dried out is by adding a quick sauce or adding a little liquid to your pan along with a pan cover before cooking in the oven. This process steam-bakes it keeping moisture in the air, making them extremely moist.
Remember that just because food is removed from the heat, it does not stop cooking. Always add 1 to 2 minutes into your total cooking time to account for carry-over cooking.
What Temperature Do You Cook At?
Whether it’s the breast or a whole chicken in general, safety standards say 165°. They can be dried out at that temperature, which is why you are on this page to avoid it.
Remove them from the oven when it reaches 155° to 160°, and then rest them on a plate or cutting board for 2-4 minutes before slicing and serving. There should be no raw pink in the middle of the breast.
- Chicken – You will need boneless skinless chicken breasts between 7 and 9 ounces each.
- Fat – You can use any oil, or clarified butter will also work.
- Seasoning – I believe salt and pepper are best here, but you can use any special chicken seasoning you’d like.
How to Cook Chicken Breasts
1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper on both sides.
2. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over high heat. Olive oil has a smoking point of 400°
3. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly. If the oil is so hot that it is rolling smoke, it’s burning and needs to be discarded.
4. Add the chicken breasts and cook them for 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side.
5. Flip them over.
6. Add the pan to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes at 375° or until it reaches an internal temperature of 155° to 160° using a meat thermometer.
7. Remove them from the pan and rest on a plate or cutting board for 2-4 minutes.
8. Slice and serve.
How to Make the Sauce
A pan sauce elevates the flavor and also helps to keep it moist.
- To make a simple sauce after the chicken is cooking, return the pan to the burner over medium heat.
- Next, add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes before deglazing with white wine. Cook the wine until it is almost gone in the pan.
- Add some good chicken stock and cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
- Finish with butter, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking.
How to Reheat: To reheat it, place it back in a pan with some of the pan sauce, cover, and cook in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°.
How to Store: It will hold in the refrigerator with it covered up for up to 4 days. It will also freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Simply pull it out as you need it and let thaw in the refrigerator before using it.
chef notes + tips
- It’s important to buy chicken breasts that are between 7 and 9 ounces in weight. Large 1-pound chicken breasts are not normal, and you should use caution when using them.
- It’s always recommended to account for carryover cooking which means it will continue to cook even though it is removed from the heat.
More Chicken Recipes
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Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breast Recipe
- 2 7-9 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ peeled small diced shallot
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup chardonnay wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Next, add a large frying pan to a burner over high heat and let sit for 20 to 30 seconds before adding in the olive oil.
- Once the oil begins to lightly smoke add in the chicken breasts and immediately turn the heat down to medium-high. Note: If it is a hot burner, then turn it down to medium.
- Cook the chicken breasts between 3 ½ to 4 minutes. Flip it over and add it to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes at 375°.
- Remove from the oven and let rest on a cutting board for 2 to 4 minutes. It’s ok if it’s a few minutes longer.
- Next, add the pan back to the cooktop over medium heat and add in the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Deglaze with optional white wine and cook until it is almost completely absorbed.
- Pour the chicken stock and cook on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- 1Finish with butter, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- 1Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.
For all the great cooking tips I learned from my mom I never caught this one. Thanks so much for an “it’s never too late to learn” lesson. This was great. Always how I will do it from now on.
I’ve never made chicken that my family didn’t think was dry until this recipe! It’s a hit and now in our rotation!
Soooo freakin’ delicious!!! Question though … do you pan sear both sides for a few minutes or just the one side?
Nope, just the one side then flip it.
Made this tonight and it was delicious. We didn’t have white wine but tried red wine and it turned out tasty. Also, we only used one cup of chicken broth to make the sauce and it was perfect. So easy to make and the chicken was not dry at all.
Never fail recipe! Easy to make, delicious and moist!
I go back to this frequently. Never fails. Excellent process.
thank you so kindly!!
This is indeed the PERFECT way to cook boneless chicken breasts. I used this recipe for my daughter’s baby shower. It was excellent and I received many compliments! Thank you Chef!
2 cups of chicken stock seems like it’s too much. It doesn’t reduce down & thicken in 2-3 minutes. What am I doing wrong?
It should slightly thicken up and reduce a bit while on high heat. It’s not a gravy, it’s a pan sauce 🙂
I have been intimidated by chicken breast for a long time. It’s a more expensive cut than I am used to (usually cook thighs) and seemed so easy to mess up. Happened to have an extra breast from breaking down a whole chicken and used this method to cook it for our salad. It was, *absolutely* perfect! Thank you, Chef Billy!
Came out perfect! First time I ever made chicken that was not dry and overcooked! Thank you!!!
This is absolutely the best way to cook chicken breasts. Comes out perfect!
This is how I make my chicken every time now! Thank you!
Cooked this recipe for chicken sandwiches today It was delicious.Love your site .Thanks so much.
Yes it is delicious!
Best chicken breasts I have ever made! My husband (who does NOT like chicken) said it was a delicious meal!!
Have made this several times for my own family. We loved it. I did make a roux after the first time to thicken the sauce which my guys raved about. I made the chicken to take to my sister who is recovering from surgery. She was impressed. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Lately, I have had bad feelings toward chickens. But, since I had thawed out a big package of chicken breast I decided to give this a try. The flavors and aroma are incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
Amazing! This was the best tasting chicken breast I have ever made. The family loved it! We’re making it again tonite. Thanks for sharing! I am a native Chicago girl and really enjoy all your tips, tricks and homemade mindset. I wish I could be a “commie”. (not spelled right I’m sure!!)
I made this chicken recipe for the second time. You are correct when you say it is the best perfectly cooked chicken breast. I do not ordinarily like the breast because they are always dry. This recipe is amazing. So easy and the chicken is do moist and delicious!
Chef Parisi, I come from a family of cooks, and I have been cooking from scratch my whole life. I absolutely love it! I am always reading cookbooks and following various chefs, including Food Network, to learn something new. I have to say that you are my very favorite by far! I love your recipes and tips, and I love this chicken breast recipe. I have always struggled with making moist flavorful chicken breast, and thanks to you I now can! And the pan gravy is awesome! Thank you for sharing and caring about your followers (commies) lol. 😀
I have used this recipe multiple times since I found it. It is always a hit and I am making it again tonight with extra for delicious chicken salad.
I used this method last night to prepare some chicken breasts to be used in chicken salad – no pan sauce. Worked “perfectly”! Looking forward to preparing again with the pan sauce.
This was fabulous! The chicken was tender, juicy, and flavorful! I’m a good, old fashioned, southern cook, but you have taught me so many new recipes and tips that I didn’t know. I’m so glad you popped up on my Facebook feed. I’ve already made many of your recipes and they’ve all been delicious! I’ve asked for a pasta machine for my birthday and can’t wait to make a batch of your pasta!
This was very good. I thought sauce may have thicken some? Still delic.
Finally an easy way to make boneless skinless plain chicken breasts that aren’t dry and boring. This turned out so well! One of my kids said this was the best chicken ever! Thank you!
Made this chicken tonight. It was delicious! Love your videos!
Delicious! My family of six loved it.
Thanks for sharing
I’m so thankful that you popped up on my Facebook!!!!! You have opened up a new world for me! Thank you so much 😊
I am Italian also, this receipe is to the point. You are also calming to watch!
I like to use a convection oven. What temperature would you suggest I use for your chicken recipe? Which sounds yummy by the way!
Thank you o
same temperature and 2-4 minutes less.
Hey Chef Billy! I was wondering what cast iron pan you are using in this post? I’m on the hunt for a good all around cast iron pan and wanted to know what you recommended. Thank you!
I think the 2 cups of chicken broth is maybe a typo? That’s a lot of chicken broth for a pan sauce for 2 chicken breasts. Maybe it’s supposed to be 1/2 cup. That’s what I used last night and it was plenty. My chic breasts were about 5 oz each so I reduced the cooking time a bit. Nice and tender and juicy.
You can use up to 2 cups.
Love how clear the instructions are, the chef tips are awesome too!
I still need to master the perfectly cooked chicken breast and I think this post will help me do it. Thanks!
One of our favorite weeknight dinners
I loved how juicy it was!! Really delish!
This chicken is so easy and delicious – tons of flavor!