This easy blackened chicken recipe boasts a robust charred Cajun spice blend that enveloped the tender, juicy chicken breast when cooked quickly over high heat. With just a few steps and tips, you can have restaurant quality chicken in less than 15 minutes.
What is blackened chicken?
“Blackening” usually involves coating a bold Cajun spice mix to a quick-cooking protein like chicken or fish. It’s then seared in a piping hot cast-iron or stainless steel skillet until the blend of fat and spices begin to smoke and char without completely burning.
This Cajun chicken recipe starts with a homemade spice blend of smoked paprika, salt, cumin, thyme, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper for some kick. The smoked paprika is preferred over regular paprika as it adds to the smoky profile of the dish.
Butterflied chicken breasts are thoroughly coated in this rich spice mixture and then seared in a hot cast-iron skillet. The swift, high-heat searing gets that signature charred appearance on the chicken while preserving its juiciness and tenderness. After a quick sear, the chicken is transferred to a preheated oven, a crucial step that ensure it is cooked through without losing additional moisture. The result is a flavorful, smoky, and succulent blackened chicken dish in record time, without turning your kitchen into a smoky mess.
- How to make blackened chicken
- Recipe Details
- Similar recipes others love
- Spices for blackened chicken
- How to butterfly chicken
- What to serve with blackened chicken
- Storage information
- Nutrition information: facts & macronutrients
How to make blackened chicken
To make blackened chicken, start by making the Cajun spice blend and preparing the chicken so that it is the same thickened to allow for even cooking.
- Cajun spice mix – Combine smoked paprika, salt, ground cumin, dried thyme, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Butterfly the chicken – Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast completely to get four thin slices of chicken. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Then spray with cooking oil to help the spices stick to the chicken.
- Heat the skillet – Use a cast iron skillet or stainless steel skillet to cook the chicken. Heat the pan on the stovetop over high heat until it’s very hot (takes about 5 minutes). DO NOT add oil or butter to the skillet or else they will burn, smoke and might cause a fire. Add the chicken to the hot skillet. Make sure the skillet is not overcrowded to prevent steaming, and sear the cajun chicken on each side for one minute or until the spices have charred and create a blackened crust.
- Finish in the oven – Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil (or keep in the castiron skillet) and bake in a preheated oven at 350 °F for 5-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F.
Allow the chicken to rest before slicing into. This method gives a deliciously smoky, juicy blackened chicken breast.
Blackened Chicken Recipe Video
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Blackened Chicken Ingredients
Blackened Chicken Directions
Mix blackening seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Place a sheet of parchment paper or foil on a baking tray (unless using a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof stainless steel skillet). Set aside. In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, salt, cumin, thyme, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, if using
Heat the skillet
Heat a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until piping hot or it starts to smoke. DO NOT add oil or butter to the skillet.
Cut chicken into thin large pieces
Cut the chicken breast in half (like butterflying it) to create two thin slices of chicken breast. To do this, put your hand on the smooth side of the chicken breast to stabilize it as you cut. Using a sharp knife, start at the thick end of the breast, cut horizontally into the breast, running the knife parallel to the cutting boarding. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Spray the chicken breasts on both sides with cooking oil. Transfer Cajun seasoning to a small plate. Working with one slice of chicken at a time, transfer to the plate to coat the seasoning on all sides of the chicken.
Blacken the chicken
Place chicken into the hot skillet leaving space in between each piece of chicken. (Don’t overcrowd the skillet). Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for a minute on the other side or until a charred crust has formed. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet or keep in the skillet if using cast iron or an ovenproof skillet.
Bake in the oven at 350 °F for 5-8 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 °F. Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.