Make juicy and flavorful Pan Seared Chicken Breast with this easy recipe. Just sear seasoned chicken and toss in a simple chicken pan sauce.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Juicy and tender chicken breast – it can be hard to make chicken taste delicious in a short amount of time, but with this simple pan seared recipe you can make a super flavorful and moist chicken breast. Cooking chicken breast quickly in a warm skillet keeps the moisture locked inside.
- Flavorful pan sauce – use the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to make a delicious chicken pan sauce. Serve the chicken with lots of this sauce and any side dishes you like.
- Versatile – there are so many ways to serve this simple chicken recipe. I like to make it for an easy dinner, but it is also great for meal prep.
- Customizable – change the type of chicken you are using or the ingredients for the pan sauce to easily alter the flavor of the recipe.
There are so many ways to enjoy this versatile chicken breast recipe. This basic protein goes well with so many different side dishes. It is perfect for a romantic dinner with some creamy mashed potatoes and crispy maple bacon brussel sprouts.
What Kind of Pan is Best for Searing?
To get an even and crisp sear on a piece of chicken you will want to use a thick, heavy bottom pan like a cast iron skillet or enameled cast iron skillet. I personally like to use an enameled braising pan because it comes with a top.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – use two chicken breasts and slice each one into 2 thinner fillets so you have 4 pieces total
- Salt, garlic powder and black pepper – season the chicken simply with the simple seasoning blend of these three items or add additional spices to change the flavor slightly.
- Extra virgin olive oil – for searing the chicken in the hot skillet. You can use any kind of cooking oil that you like to use.
- Butter – use unsalted butter for sauteeing the yellow onions. This is the base of the pan sauce.
- Yellow onion – finely dice a yellow onion to add lots of flavor to the chicken pan sauce.
- Lemon juice – use fresh lemon juice, a splash of white wine or a splash of vinegar to deglaze the pan. This helps lift the flavor from the seared chicken off the bottom of the pan.
- Chicken broth – thicken the pan sauce by simmering the sauteed onions in chicken broth.
You can make small changes to the ingredients to change this recipe adn still make it super delicious. Use boneless skinless chicken thighs or bone-in skin-on chicken thighs in place of the chicken beasts. This chicken thigh skin will get nice and crispy when searing, but they will take a little longer to be fully cooked through.
Use diced shallots in place of the yellow onion for flavoring the pan sauce. You can also use a dry white wine in place of the lemon juice to deglaze the pan.
Add extra flavor to the simple chicken pan sauce by simmering fresh herbs with the chicken broth. I like to use a few sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary or oregano.
Change up the dry seasoning blend to add even more flavor to this simple pan-seared chicken breast. I like to use onion powder, smoked paprika, or even a little bit of cayenne pepper.
How To Make
Step 1: season and sear chicken breast
To begin, slice each chicken breast in half lengthways so you have 2 thinner pieces. Mix salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bow. Season the chicken pieces on both sides (Image 1).
Then, heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the chicken to the pan. Let the chicken cook 5 minutes, then, flip and cook 5 minutes on the other side. (Image 2). You want the chicken to get golden brown before you remove from the pan.
Step 2: Saute onions and deglaze pan
Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter and diced onions to the pan (Image 3). Saute for 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan to deglaze the bottom (Image 4). Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon as the lemon juice sizzles.
Step 3: Prepare pan sauce and toss chicken in it
Then, pour in the chicken broth and simmer for about 10 minutes (Image 5). The amount of liquid should reduce by half.
Add the seared chicken into the pan and toss in the sauce (Image 6). Turn off the heat and serve with any extra sauce spooned over the top.
Storage and Reheating
Allow the chicken to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container in the fridge. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. You can also reheat in a skillet in the oven at 275F for 15-20 minutes.
Check out these delicious side dishes
- Crispy Baked French Fries
- Classic Creamy Coleslaw
- Buffalo Ranch Potato Salad
- Broccoli Cauliflower and Bacon Salad
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ yellow onion – finely diced
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Slice each chicken breast in half lengthways so you have 2 thinner pieces. Mix salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl and season the chicken pieces on both sides.
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the chicken to the pan. Cook 5 minutes each side and remove from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter and diced onions to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan to deglaze the bottom – scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon as the lemon juice sizzles.
- Pour in the chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes – the amount of liquid should reduce by half.
- Add the seared chicken into the pan and toss in the sauce. Turn off the heat and serve with any extra sauce spooned over the top.
- Allow the chicken to get golden brown when you sear it before flipping to make sure your pan sauce is flavorful
- If you don’t have lemon you can use anything acidic to deglaze the pan like dry white wine or a splash of vinegar
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or bone in skin on chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts. They will take slightly longer to cook so use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165F