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Stovetop Cast Iron Chicken Breast

one pan, no oven, and perfectly moist chicken breast

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by Angela Gallardo in Lunch & Dinner, Recipes
Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.

Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.Easy Cast Iron Chicken Breast walkthrough. A great paleo, healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30 recipe.

I don’t buy a lot of white meat chicken but when I do, I never overcook it.

I don’t care for using the oven when cooking.  My Instant Pot has replaced the oven for *most* things.  And all other cooking is done on the stovetop, as much as possible.

It’s just more simple, quick, and efficient.  One pan and you’re done.

I’ll get the meat cooked in the cast iron, remove it to rest, and throw some veggies in immediately after.  They grab the leftover seasoning and help to clean up the pan.  Dinner is ready in 20 minutes.

Slicing chicken breast in two thin pieces (lengthwise, similar to butterflying) makes it possible to cook the meat all the way through AND get a beautiful sear on the outside all at the same time.

Chicken breast is thick enough that most recipes will recommend searing and then moving to the oven to roast and finish cooking the inside.  We’re bypassing that step with the method below.

As always with animal proteins, bring the meat out of the fridge well before cooking.  Pat it dry and season evenly, leaving the seasoning to rest on the meat for at least 10 minutes before adding it to the pan.

Don’t fuss with it while it cooks!  Let it be at least 3-4 minutes before peaking to see if it’s fully seared.  Browning efforts are so often foiled by impatience and it’s a true travesty. 😀

Trust the process and let go of fears of undercooked chicken.  A very, very pale pink inside is normal.  It will continue cooking after removing from the pan so let it rest!  Then you can relish in that delicious moist white meat when you cut into it.


Get a printable PDF of the recipe

Cast Iron Chicken Breast

Yields: 2 servings

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Sea salt & black pepper

High-heat cooking fat or oil

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking.  Pat very dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut the chicken in two pieces lengthwise by slicing through the center with a very sharp knife (see above pictures).  This is similar to butterflying but you’ll cut all the way through to separate the pieces.  Discard any tough white connective tissue at the ends.
  3. Season both sides with the onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the high-heat cooking fat.  Amount needed will vary by pan size but it’s good to have a thin layer across about 75% of the pan before adding the meat.
  5. Add the chicken to the hot pan.  Leave it undisturbed for minimum 3 minutes before checking the sear.  Rotate the meat before flipping to move the outer meat toward the inner part of the pan to even out the sear (cast iron generally runs hotter toward the middle).
  6. Once you see about 1/4″ of pale white along the sides of the meat (see above), it’s ready to flip.  The first side will need about 5 minutes and the second side should need slightly less, with no more than 10 minutes total.
  7. Remove the meat from the pan once the second side has a good sear.  Place the meat on a plate with foil lightly tented over.  Rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Add a little pat of butter on top for a full flavor experience.
3 Comments
  1. Wade D Christy says:

    Thank you. It seems easy enough to me as a man that doesn’t cook often. I will try it out tomorrow. Enjoy your day.

  2. Wade D Christy says:

    Thank you. I cooked it last night in my Lodge cast iron skillet and consumed it with some hard bread rolls. I’m really attempting to use that trusty skillet more often than using the more energy consuming oven. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Wade in Olympia, WA.

    1. Hey Wade! Thanks so much for stopping back by to leave your feedback. I love my cast iron and enjoy when I can help others make better use of theirs <3

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