Blackened Chicken is a hearty, protein-rich dish made with skinless chicken breasts, dried herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. A quick and easy dish that is ready in 20 minutes. Pair it with salads and casseroles for a balanced meal!
This Easy Blackened Chicken Recipe is made with breast fillets seasoned with various blackening herbs and spices. Then, perfectly seared in a hot pan and after that, quickly baked in the oven. It is quite a versatile dish that pairs well with just about anything. Not to mention, this is also easy to make, and ready in just under 30 minutes!
Blackening is a cooking technique wherein the meat is coated with oil, usually butter, and spices. Then, seared quickly in a hot skillet. This creates a black crust on the surface that is neither charred nor well-cooked.
This seals in the flavors of this simple but tasty dish. The rest of the baking is a breeze and will not take too much of your time.
Chicken breasts might seem bland, but when cooked in this manner, it transforms into a surprisingly flavorful meal. Those on a strict diet, such as low carb can enjoy this without guilt!
What is Blackened Chicken?
It is a dish originally made with butter and Cajun spices to coat the meat and then, seared in a hot skillet. In the process, the coating browns and the spices get charred, giving the white meat an enticing brown-black color. It can be eaten as is, or it can be incorporated in salads and wraps.
- Chicken: This recipe calls for chicken breasts. However, you can make it with chicken thighs, chicken tenders, or drumsticks as well.
- Seasoning: The seasoning mix basically makes this dish so special. To make the famous blackened seasoning, you will need paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Oil: Feel free to use any type. Olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil are all great.
How to cook blackened chicken?
- Preheat the oven: While you get the ingredients ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Coat the meat: Next, prepare the poultry by patting it dry with a paper towel. Then, whisk the spices together in a small bowl to make the blackening spice. Next, drizzle some oil over the meat, and sprinkle with the seasoning mix.
- Fry: Place chicken into a hot cast iron skillet, and sear each side for about 30 seconds.
- Bake: Once you get a dark crust, put the skillet in the oven to continue cooking thoroughly for about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature. It is ready when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve: Let the flavors meld for 5 minutes before slicing. Then, serve with a lime wedge on the side.
How to make blackening seasoning?
For this recipe, we used paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper. But, you can add your own spices, as there is no hard rule which must be included or not.
Great additions would be chili powder, cajun seasoning, chicken seasoning, ranch seasoning, etc.
Then, just mix them all together in a bowl so that they get distributed evenly on the meat.
How to make it on the grill?
It is possible to use a gas or charcoal grill to cook this easy recipe. However, just make sure that the temperature is high enough to sear the crust.
Alternatively, feel free to use a grill pan. Simply, grease it with some cooking spray prior to placing the meat.
Then, simply grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees f.
What to serve with it?
As mentioned, this is the perfect dish to be served with fresh vegetables and fruits for a well-balanced meal. During the barbecue and summer season, it is nice to have refreshing sides like this creamy cucumber salad.
Feel free to use leftovers for pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches, or wraps.
Is this recipe healthy?
Chicken breast is the leanest part of the bird and it contains relatively little fat, and we used the boneless and skinless type. One 8-oz serving is about 224 calories, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates. If you are on a keto diet, this recipe is perfect for you.
How to make blackened chicken wings?
If you are curious to know if you can use dark meat in this recipe, the answer is yes. Just substitute your desired poultry parts, you can even use thighs. This recipe is versatile like that.
How to prevent the chicken from drying out?
Breasts have so little fats in them, which makes them dry out faster compared to thighs and other fatty parts. The key here is to not overcook the white meat, or else, you are risking the minimal amount of moisture in it to go out.
More Keto recipes to try:
How to store leftover:
- First, let it completely cool at room temperature prior to refrigerating. Then, transfer leftover into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, simply microwave it for a few minutes until warm. Or, pop leftover into a preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes, until warm.
More chicken recipes:
- Use a meat tenderizer if you wish to even out the meat.
- Also, this recipe can be applied to other types of meat and fish. Just adjust the cooking time and oven temperature accordingly.
- In addition, you can add jalapenos in the seasoning if you want it spicy.
- For tender chicken, I highly recommend letting the poultry rest for about 5 minutes prior to serving.
- Feel free to mix in other seasonings, such as creole seasoning, spice mix, etc.
- It is best to cook it at higher temperatures. This locks in the flavors, resulting in the juicy chicken while giving it that delicious outer crust.
Easy Blackened Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 lb. each)
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning herbs
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together all the seasonings: paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Dry chicken breasts with paper towels and coat with two tablespoons of canola oil on both sides. Toss both sides in the seasoning mixture, pressing with your fingers to help the coating adhere.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking hot, for about 5 minutes. Add just about 1 tablespoon of canola oil and brush it well all over the skillet.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 30 seconds on each side to blacken, then transfer the skillet into the oven to finish cooking, for another 12-15 minutes. Chicken should be no longer pink in the center and the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F.
- Remove chicken to a platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.