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Want to make the best pan seared chicken breast? I’m sharing my top tips so that you can learn how to sear chicken like a pro! Similar to chicken piccata, this stovetop pan fried chicken breast is cooked on the stove, and then we make a silky smooth (super simple) pan sauce that takes it over the top. It’s one of the quickest chicken dinners you can make when you’re short on time and just want something quick with ingredients you have in your pantry.
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But as you can probably guess, knowing how to pan fry chicken is a basic skill for anyone, even if they aren’t following any special diet.
Pan Seared Chicken Breast Ingredients
This easy pan seared chicken recipe is made with just a few basic ingredients and some pantry staples:
- Chicken breast – Any kind of boneless skinless chicken breast will work, but I prefer this brand that’s free-range and delivered to your door.
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Olive oil – Ideal for searing and high heat cooking.
- Butter – We use this to make the pan sauce. Use unsalted.
- Aromatics – A combination of minced garlic and shallots is best for maximum flavor.
- White cooking wine – Or a drinking wine is fine too if that’s what you have.
- Chicken broth – I recommend using low-sodium, you can always add more salt to taste.
- Fresh herbs – I used parsley and thyme, but feel free to use others you like.
How To Pan Fry Chicken Breast On The Stovetop
The best seared chicken breast is definitely made with pan sauce! Let me show you how to make it.
How to prepare seared chicken breast:
- Season chicken. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Sear. Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet (I recommend cast iron like this one, but see below for other options.) Add chicken and saute on both sides, until cooked through and browned. Remove from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
How long to pan fry chicken breast?
The cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken breast, but it’s usually about 4-8 minutes per side.
TIP: For best results, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. To prevent it from drying out, I usually prefer to bring it to just 162 degrees F, as the internal temperature will rise a few degrees as it rests covered in foil while you make the sauce.
How to make pan sauce for chicken:
- Saute aromatics. Add more olive oil to pan, plus garlic and shallots. Saute until fragrant and starting to brown.
- Deglaze. Add cooking wine and broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, until it’s reduced by about half.
- Finish sauce. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter and fresh herbs.
Serve the pan seared chicken:
To serve, add the sauteed chicken back to the pan and spoon pan sauce over it. A beautiful skillet can go right to the table on a hot pad, or divide among plates to serve.
Tips For The Best Pan Seared Chicken Breast
The step-by-step process for how to sear chicken is all you really need, but for the best pan fried chicken, here are some tips for perfect results every time:
1. Choose chicken breasts similar in size.
Chicken breasts that are the same size will cook evenly, meaning you won’t over/under cook your chicken.
2. Use a heavy bottomed pan.
A heavy bottomed pan distributes the heat evenly, which will also help ensure that your chicken is cooked properly.
3. Do not move the chicken around the pan.
To get that perfectly browned chicken, let it connect with the pan to get brown!
4. Flip only once.
This is another tip with letting the chicken properly brown. There is no need to constantly flip the chicken or it won’t have a good crust. Flipping repeatedly can also dry it out.
5. Deglaze the pan.
Skipping the deglazing step leaves so much flavor in the pan. This step to create a sauce will elevate your pan seared chicken in a big way.
6. Let the broth and wine mixture reduce.
For a smooth and silky sauce, the broth and wine need to reduce so that it’s the consistency of a sauce and not a broth. It will make the world of difference.
Pan Fried Chicken Recipe FAQs
How much oil to pan fry chicken breast?
When you are pan frying chicken, you can get away with a lot less oil than if you were deep frying it. You want a nice coating on the pan so it doesn’t stick and so it gives it flavor, but you won’t need more than a couple tablespoons. I recommend 2 tablespoons of oil.
What is the best pan to fry chicken in?
The key to the best pan seared chicken is a heavy bottomed pan, so that it conducts heat well and distributes it evenly. For this reason, a cast iron pan like this one is the top choice. Alternatively, a heavier hard anodized aluminum pan will work as well.
Should you cover chicken when pan frying?
No, if you want to pan fry chicken, don’t cover it, or it will start to steam instead of searing.
Can you pan fry chicken breast from frozen?
No, cooking chicken from frozen is not recommended, because it doesn’t cook evenly and can leave you with chicken that is undercooked in some places and overcooked in others. If your chicken is frozen, thaw it first in a bowl of cold water, or in the fridge overnight.
Can you use chicken thighs?
Yes, you could definitely use chicken thighs here, but the cooking time will vary, depending on size and type. But it will be just as delicious!
Can you make chicken pan sauce without cooking wine?
Yes. The cooking wine gives the sauce great flavor, but if you’d rather not use it, you can use extra broth instead.
While you get the juiciest pan fried chicken if you make it fresh, you can definitely make it ahead for meal prep if you like. Store it in the refrigerator for 2-4 days.
Can you freeze pan seared chicken breast?
Yes, you can freeze sauteed chicken for 2-3 months.
How to reheat stovetop chicken breast?
The simplest way to reheat seared chicken and sauce is to do it in a hot skillet with the lid on.
Another great option to prevent drying out is to place the chicken with sauce into a baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and heat in the oven at 300 degrees F until hot. The foil covering will steam the chicken, keeping it moist.
If you’re in a rush, the microwave will work, but will have a more dry result.
What To Serve With Pan Seared Chicken Breast
All this pan fried chicken recipe needs is a few sides. Here are a few ideas:
- Roasted vegetables – Try roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, roasted zucchini, or roasted brussels sprouts.
- Starches – Potatoes or rice are great regular options to go with stovetop chicken breast, or try baked sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower for a healthier twist.
- Salads – Greek salad, creamy cucumber salad, or a classic wedge salad all pair well with seared chicken breast recipes.
More Easy Chicken Breast Recipes
If you like this pan fried chicken recipe, you might also like some of these other ideas for chicken breast:
- Juicy Baked Chicken Breast – My most popular chicken breast recipe for years, and with good reason. It’s easy and delicious!
- Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast – Just 6 simple ingredients needed, and you get a creamy spinach inside with tomatoes and mozzarella on top.
- Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast – Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with a secret surprise filling.
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – My go-to method for making lots of shredded chicken quickly.
- Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast – Make pan seared chicken into a whole meal by stuffing asparagus and cheese inside.
Tools To Make This Easy Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Cast Iron Skillet – The heavy skillets are best for cooking stovetop chicken breast so that the chicken browns and cooks evenly.
- Meat Thermometer – The best way to know if your easy pan seared chicken breast recipes are perfectly cooked? Using a meat thermometer. This one gives you an instant reading.
How To Sear Chicken Breast
Pan Seared Chicken Breast (So Juicy!)
You'll love this EASY stovetop pan seared chicken breast recipe! Make juicy pan fried chicken breast in 25 minutes, with simple ingredients.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Season the chicken on both sides with sea salt and black pepper.
In a large heavy bottomed skillet, melt 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 4 to 8 minutes per side, until cooked through and browned.
(For the best juicy pan seared chicken, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness - remove immediately once it reaches 165 degrees F, or you can remove at around 162 degrees and let the temperature come up a few more degrees as it rests in the next step.)
Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil.
Add another tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and shallot, and sauté for about 2-5 minutes, until fragrant and starting to brown.
Add the wine and broth to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the liquid volume is reduced by half.
Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the butter, parsley, and thyme, just until the butter melts.
Serve the sauce over the chicken.
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Serving size: 1 chicken breast with 2-3 tbsp sauce (depending on how much you reduce it)
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Je l’ai faite ce weekend , elle est délicieuse à refaire.
Is it ok to use dried parsley and thyme if fresh isn’t available? And if so, what would equivalent amounts be for each? This sounds so good, I can’t wait to make it!
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Pam, Yes, you can. Use 1 teaspoon dried herbs to replace each tablespoon fresh.
Delicious!! Definitely going to be my new go to chicken recipe!
Can you substitute white cooking wine with a white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Nancy, Yes that would work.
I don’t see sodium , do you not count it in your recipes?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Sally, Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. If you need more in depth information you can enter the recipe into a USDA recipe maker to get those results.
How did I end up here? I clicked to see roasted broccoli! And when I clicked for roasted eggplant, I ended up at pan-seared salmon.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Julie, Here is the roasted broccoli recipe.
I ruined the sauce because I’m a noob — It came out bitter. Totally my bad; I didn’t simmer the wine long enough. The only reason I’m mentioning that is that it didn’t matter. The chicken is amazing without the sauce, too — Like Outback Steakhouse’s “chicken on the barbie,” but juicier and more flavorful. I paired it with a mushroom risotto from the day before and the family agreed it was heaven. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
The Chicken was Great, Had a hard time to get the Temp. to 165 Degrees at 8 minutes on each side. But, took a little longer. WELL WORTH IT. I made this while my wife was leaving work, She was so impressed. I paired it with Green Beans And Mushrooms, And Buttered Mrs. Grass Egg Noodles. And Of Course Some Wine.
I really don’t like to taste alcohol in food — is this reduced adequately to eliminate the actual wine flavor? If not, can I just omit it and still get a tasty end product, or is there another substitute?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Teri, It’s reduced enough that it won’t taste like alcohol, but you can substitute more broth if you prefer.
Hi I just came here for the temperature to take off the chicken. Nummy!
This recipe is delicious! My family surprisingly loved it!
Amy L Huntley0
The flavors were perfection and the chicken was super tender. I love new chicken recipes to try. This one is a keeper for sure.
The flavor on this looks so amazing!
Phenomenal recipe and so easy!
This is such a classic recipe! We all love this one.
Adding this to the menu for this weekend!! Amazing flavors & the chicken is cooked perfectly!
This looks so good, I just had to try it. It got thumbs up all around the table! Thanks for sharing!
This chicken is so tender & juicy!! Love those seasonings!
Lucky for me I just bought a package of chicken breasts and have everything else in the pantry, thanks for the yummy dinner inspo.
My mom has been looking for easy lunch ideas so I’m going to send her this! Perfect for a quick protein!
So good!!! Adding this to our dinner menu rotation!
So good! The chicken breast came out great.
Thank you for a simple but classic recipe. This is perfect for easy weeknight dinners. Thanks so much for sharing.
This is the FIRST time in my life I have made perfect chicken. Thank you for posting this recipe! Everyone loves it.
I love an easy and juicy pan seared chicken breast. These are so versatile, we add them to salad or eat them with lots of veggie sides. Delicious!