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5 from 3 votes

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast

The best Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast should be perfectly golden brown on the outside and super juicy on the inside! This post includes all of the tips and tricks for perfecting a pan seared chicken breast. It’s simple, easy, and delicious!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Brianna May

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more as needed
  • Compound Butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • a couple sprigs of sage
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped herbs*
  • 1 lemon zested

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breast on a plate lined with a paper towel and pat dry. Season one side with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place the chicken seasoned side down in the hot oil. Season the other side with the rest of the salt and pepper. Cook for 10-13 minutes. Check after 8 minutes to ensure they are not browning too quickly. Turn heat down if needed.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for another 10-13 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 165.
  • Remove from the skillet to rest.
  • Turn the heat to low. Add a splash of oil if there is none left and add the garlic and sage.
  • Sauté until browned.
  • Mince the garlic. Use a fork to combine the garlic, butter, herbs, and lemon zest. Spread on top of cooked chicken breast. Garnish with fried sage leaves as well.
  • Optional: Form the butter into a log using parchment paper or cling wrap. Freeze for 5 minutes or until hard enough to slice. Slice and place medallions on top of chicken breast.

Notes

  • Chicken Breasts: My chicken breasts were about 7-8 ounces each. If yours are bigger or bone-in, see the variations section below for how to finish them in the oven. You can also turn the heat to low to finish cooking them in the pan. 
  • Herbs: Use whatever fresh herbs you have in your fridge or garden. I like rosemary, dill, oregano, parsley, or thyme.
  • Pat dry the chicken breast. Removing the excess moisture allows the outside of the chicken to caramelize and not steam. 
  • Season generously. Salt and pepper go a long way. These chicken breasts are full of flavor!
  • Make sure the pan is hot. A hot pan prevents the chicken from sticking and allows a crust to form. Before you add the chicken to the pan, wet your hand, and flick some water into the oil. If it cracks and pops, the pan is ready. 
  • Do not move the chicken around. Allowing the chicken to remain in contact with the hot cast iron helps it turn golden brown. Let it sear for 5 minutes before you check it. 
  • Use a meat thermometer. Using a thermometer prevents you from over cooking the chicken and drying it out. Fully cooked chicken should be an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Let the chicken rest. Allowing the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes helps lock in all of the juices.
  • Don’t skip the compound butter. I highly recommend making the lemon herb butter. It is addicting. If you only have plain butter, you can still place a thin pat on top of each chicken breast while it rests. This adds a ton of moisture. 

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g