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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
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.