Blackened Chicken

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This Blackened Chicken recipe will leave your chicken perfectly blackened with moist and juicy chicken breasts.

Blackened Chicken

I remember the first time I blackened chicken; it came out amazing! Then the second time, not so much. That’s ok because it fits my cooking philosophy that you don’t truly understand a technique until you’ve done it 10 times.

That’s not to say each time will be perfect, but a valuable lesson.

See, blackening anything is an art. If your heat is too high, you’ll end up with something burnt. If your heat is too low, you’ll have something golden brown but not blackened.

You need to have your heat at the right temperature to create a dark brown crusted chicken that tastes awesome without burning any spices.

I will simplify blackening for you in this blog post with all my insider New Orleans knowledge.

3 blackened chicken breasts

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make blackened chicken breasts.

Boneless Chicken Breasts

The easiest thing to learn how to blacken is boneless skinless chicken breasts. Chicken cutlets work well too.

Cajun Seasoning

I could make a homemade blackening spice mix, but Savory Cajun seasoning has done all the heavy lifting.

Melted Butter

You’re going to need quite a bit of melted unsalted butter.

blackened chicken on a plate

How to make the best-blackened chicken recipe?

The key to blackening is all in technique and confidence. That’s how I’m going to teach you to make this recipe. Make sure you open a few windows because there’s going to be quite a bit of smoke.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the skillet is smoking hot.

Step 2: In batches, dip the chicken in melted butter, evenly coating both sides. On a plate, liberally season both sides of the chicken breasts with Cajun or blackened seasoning.

Step 3: Place chicken in skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until blackened (deep dark brown color); flip over and cook for 1 minute; transfer to a foiled lined baking sheet. Cook 3-4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of the chicken breast and skillet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

blackened chicken on a plate

Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe

Here’s a great recipe to make your own blackened seasoning at home.

1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika

2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon white pepper

¾ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoons dry thyme

½ teaspoons dry oregano

Mix all the spices or blitz in a food processor in a small bowl for 15 seconds.

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes I made from making this delicious Cajun blackened chicken breast recipe.

  • Cast iron skillets are best for blackening because they retain heat the best.
  • Room-temperature chicken breasts are best. If the chicken is cold, it will solidify the butter.
  • Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
  • If you think your skillet is hot enough, give it another minute until you see faint white smoke coming from it.
  • If your stovetop is anything other than gas, cook the chicken for 1-2 minutes longer to blacken. Electric ranges voltages go up and down to keep the energy from surging.
  • If you notice that your chicken is not getting the right color, add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the skillet.
  • You can use oil like canola oil or vegetable oil instead of butter.
  • If you skip the step of pounding out your chicken, your chicken will blacken unevenly.
  • If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a heavy bottom small skillet to pound the chicken breast out.

blackened chicken on a plate
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blackened chicken on a plate

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making blackened chicken.

What is blackened chicken made of?

Blackened chicken is made of chicken that’s been seasoned with blackening seasoning and cooked in a piping hot skillet.

Is blackened chicken the same as Cajun?

No, blackened chicken is a cooking technique created by Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s.

Is blackened chicken spicy?

That will depend on the amount of cayenne included in your blackening seasoning.

Is blackened chicken healthy?

Blackened chicken can be healthy if you use oil instead of melted butter. It’s easier to achieve the proper blackened color using less oil to make the dish healthier.

Is blackened chicken gluten-free?

Yes, blackened chicken is gluten-free because there’s no flour being used.

Is blackened chicken burnt?

No, blackened chicken is not burnt chicken. Although the final color looks burnt, the spices are perfectly toasted. Coating the chicken breast in melted butter and then cooking it in a piping hot skillet gives it the signature deep dark brown color.

Is blackened chicken grilled?

No, blackened chicken is not grilled; it’s cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Is blackened chicken fried?

No, blackened chicken is not fried; it is cooked in a dry heavy bottom skillet.

blackened chicken on a plate with fork and knife

What does blackened chicken taste like?

Blackened chicken is juicy and tender with a crispy charred crust. Which can give off similar notes as grilled chicken.

What goes with blackened chicken?

There are several things that go with blackened chicken; you can make a green salad, pasta, mashed potatoes, or make blackened chicken sandwiches. Regardless of what you choose, it’s a great complement to your favorite vegetable and sides.

How to store blackened chicken recipes?

Blackened chicken breasts are best 3 days after cooking them but will remain fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days.

If you plan to freeze any leftovers, place them in a freezer storage bag. Chicken is best before 3 months.

To reheat, bake the blackened chicken in a 350°F oven for 5-8 minutes or until hot.

blackened chicken sliced

More Cajun Recipes

If you love this blackened chicken breast recipe, I know you’ll love my other blackened recipes.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Here are my steps for getting organized and moving fast in the kitchen.

Step 1: Get all ingredients for the blackened chicken recipe on the counter.

Step 2: Put everything measured into individual bowls.

Step 3: Follow the recipe below and prepare the best-blackened chicken ever!

Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think. Be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. I love hearing from my readers!

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blackened chicken on a plate

Blackened Chicken

Kenneth Temple
This Blackened Chicken recipe will leave your chicken perfectly blackened with moist and juicy chicken breasts.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Cajun, Creole, New Orleans
Servings 8 persons
Calories 141 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons Savory Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the skillet is smoking hot.
  • In batches, dip the chicken in melted butter, evenly coating both sides. On a plate, liberally season both sides of the chicken breasts with Cajun or blackened seasoning.
  • Place chicken in skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until blackened (deep dark brown color); flip over and cook for 1 minute; transfer to a foiled lined baking sheet. Cook 3-4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of the chicken breast and skillet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are a few notes I made from making this delicious Cajun blackened chicken breast recipe.
  • Cast iron skillets are best for blackening because they retain heat the best.
  • Use room temperature chicken breasts are best. If the chicken is cold, it will solidify the butter.
  • Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.
  • If you think your skillet is hot enough, give it another minute unless you see faint white smoke coming from it.
  • If your stovetop is anything other than gas, cook the chicken for 1-2 minutes longer to blacken. Electric ranges voltages go up and down to keep the energy from surging.
  • You can use oil instead of melted butter.
  • If you notice that your chicken is not getting the right color, add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the skillet.
  • You can use oil like canola oil or vegetable oil instead of butter.
  • If you skip the step of pounding out your chicken, your chicken will blacken unevenly.
  • If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a heavy bottom small skillet to pound the chicken breast out.
Storage:
Blackened chicken breasts are best 3 days after cooking them but will remain fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days.
If you plan to freeze any leftovers, place them in a freezer storage bag. Chicken is best before 3 months.
To reheat, bake the blackened chicken in a 350°F oven for 5-8 minutes or until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 25gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 134mgPotassium: 504mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 1848IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
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