This is one of our favorite one-pan chicken recipes. Pairing pan-seared chicken breast with a luxurious garlic and herb butter sauce, this dish is perfect for a weekend dinner or a romantic meal for two. Skillet chicken is quick and easy to prepare and cooks in just 15 to 20 minutes, which gives you ample time to cook off your sides and set the table for your guests.
Skillet Chicken: Pan Seared in a Garlic Herb Butter Sauce
Use a meat hammer or pastry roller to thin out the thicker part of your chicken breasts until they are even.
Heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat - you want it hot enough to get a good sear on the meat.
Use kitchen paper to pat the chicken breasts dry on both sides - this helps with the sear. Add salt and pepper as preferred.
Add some oil to the skillet, and once it's hot, add your chicken. Cook it on both sides until it is cooked through (check the center with a meat thermometer - it should be 165°F). Set the cooked chicken aside while you prepare the sauce.
Add 1-2 tbsp of butter to the skillet along with the juices from your chicken. Add the garlic and sage and saute them in the butter until the garlic is golden brown.
Deglaze the skillet with your stock or white wine, making sure to scrape up any burned on chicken bits. Add the remaining herbs and the rest of the butter.
Spoon the sauce over your chicken and serve.
Skillet Chicken FAQs
How long does it take to cook chicken breast in a skillet?
At a medium to high heat, cooking chicken on a cast iron skillet is pretty quick. For average-sized chicken breasts, you should allow around five to seven minutes per side, similar to if you were grilling them. The only truly reliable way to guarantee your chicken is perfectly cooked is to use a meat probe or thermometer to monitor the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast. Once it reaches 165°F, your skillet fried chicken is safe to eat. If you leave it on the heat too much longer, you run the risk of the meat drying out while cooking on cast iron. Chicken breast has very little fat content to keep it moist.
Are there any variations that can be done to this recipe?
You can leave out the herbs and double the amount of garlic in the recipe to make a simple garlic butter chicken, which is excellent if you have herbs in your side dishes, and you don't want to overdo them.
You can switch out a classic tomato sauce for chicken stock or wine to make a more Mediterranean inspired version of this skillet chicken dish - use canned chopped tomatoes or bottled Italian tomato sauce (not ketchup!).
For a change from fried chicken breast, you can try this recipe with bone-in or filleted chicken thighs or chicken legs. Just be sure to moderate the total cooking time appropriately to make sure your meat is cooked all the way through.
Skillet chicken can be served with a number of different side dishes. Mashed potatoes or baked potatoes are popular, as are fries. Vegetables that go well with skillet chicken include asparagus, carrots, green beans, or lima beans.
If you're looking for a healthier option, you can serve this skillet chicken with a garden salad in place of cooked vegetables, and instead of carb-dense potatoes, try a lower-carb grain such as quinoa or wild rice.
If you're trying to cut the carbs out completely, how about serving your skillet chicken on a bed of spiralized courgette noodles or gluten-free noodles?