Blackened chicken is nothing more than a spicy dry rub that infuses tons of flavor into bland chicken. The chicken is then cooked over very high heat resulting in a blackened outer crust and a moist tender inside.
What is Blackened Chicken?
Blackened chicken is a flavorful dish made by coating chicken with a blend of spices and cooking it a hot cast-iron skillet or pan.
The cooking process involves high heat, which causes the spices to toast and blacken, giving the chicken its signature dark, spicy crust. Blackened chicken is known for its bold and smoky flavor, and it’s often associated with Cajun or Creole cuisine, particularly in the Southern United States.
It’s important to note that the term “blackened” refers to the charred appearance of the seasoning on the chicken rather than the chicken being burnt or overcooked. The chicken is typically juicy and flavorful on the inside while having a spicy and crispy exterior.
WHAT SPICES ARE USED FOR BLACKENED CHICKEN?
- paprika (you can even use smoked paprika for a real smoky flavor)
- white & cayenne peppers
- onion powder
These spices create a nice heat with each bite. However, it is totally customizable to your taste. I would suggest starting with the original dry rub listed below and tweak to your personal liking in the future.
This blackened chicken goes great over a salad as the creaminess from the salad dressing or avocados offsets the chicken really well. Or another great option is over pasta. My personal favorite is over Fettucine Alfredo.
There are 2 methods for blackened chicken:
- Cooking exclusively on the stovetop is one option. I recommend flattening the chicken between sheets of wax or parchment paper using a mallet. This technique will cook the chicken evenly.
- Alternatively, my preferred method, involves initially cooking the dish on the stovetop and then transferring it to the oven once the chicken is flipped for completion.
Typically, we aim to allow meat to reach room temperature before cooking. However, when it comes to blackening food, the opposite holds true. Ensure the chicken remains chilled, and remember to activate the fan.
MORE EASY CHICKEN RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:
HOW TO MAKE BLACKENED CHICKEN
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A spicy dry rub is rubbed all over lean chicken breasts and pan seared in a very hot pan for a blackened outer crust and a moist tender inside.
- 2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
- ½ teaspoon Paprika (or smoked paprika)
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon White Pepper (black would be fine as a substitution)
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix the spices in a small dish.
- Trim any excess fat off the chicken breast and pat dry. Rub the spices all over the chicken and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet over high heat until it is SMOKING.
- Place the chicken in the skillet and let it cook for 2 minutes or until a nice black crust has formed.
- Flip and repeat.
- You can continue to cook the chicken in the pan until done or place the chicken carefully in the oven and cook until the juices run clear or a meat thermometer reaches 165°F.