Easy Pan Fried Chicken Breast recipe is juicy, with golden seasoned crust outside coated in delicious pan sauce. This easy chicken recipe is ready in 30 minutes!
This recipe for pan fried chicken breast produces juicy chicken breasts that have light golden crust without the flour, are infused with simple seasoning and easy to make on a busy weeknight!
Pan frying chicken breast is a simple method of cooking North America’s favorite protein without drying it out. I do love to bake chicken breast in oven or air fried chicken breast but sometimes I do not feel like turning on the oven or washing an extra appliance.
My mom always pan-seared chicken breasts and I love to do it as well! You will love this cooking technique too, especially when short on time.
Why You Will Love Pan Fried Chicken Breast
- Simple ingredients: This recipe needs chicken, spices and a few other super basic ingredients.
- Quick and easy: Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes without preheating the oven.
- Perfect for meal prep: Use chicken in various recipes throughout the week, from salads to grain bowls.
Ingredients You Will Need
To make pan-fried chicken breast recipe you need just 6 simple ingredients.
- Chicken breasts: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts of any size and thickness. Since we tenderize them a bit and have full control of cook time, chicken breasts can be of different sizes.
- Spices: I love to use my all-purpose seasoning blend but you can use any of your favorite spices. I also give a few other recommendations below. I always have it on hand to make slow cooker shredded chicken any time.
- Olive oil: To pan sear chicken breast in. I used extra virgin olive oil because I like its taste and smoke point isn’t that high with this recipe. For more mild taste, use avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Butter: To add flavor and body to the pan sauce that we pour over the pan fried chicken breast at the end.
- Fresh garlic: To fry in butter and flavor the sauce further. Garlic sauteed in butter is always a good idea!
- Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock to create the sauce.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh parsley or fresh basil, for garnish. Optional ingredient.
How to Pan Fry Chicken Breast
Here is a quick overview how to pan fry chicken breast and make delicious sauce for it in just one pan.
- Make chicken breasts thinner: Pat dry chicken with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, cut thick chicken breasts in half lengthwise, especially on a thicker part. Thin chicken breasts can be left alone.
- Tenderise them: Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound them either with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until they are even thickness.
- Season the chicken: Transfer chicken breasts on a large plate and season lightly with seasoning on both sides.
- Pan cook chicken breasts: Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add a couple of chicken breasts and let chicken cook for 3-4 minutes or until white edges appear on top and chicken breasts are golden brown on the bottom. Flip and sear chicken for another 3-4 minutes. Work in batches.
- Make the sauce: After you remove chicken onto a plate, return frying pan on low heat. Add butter and grated garlic, saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then pour in chicken broth and simmer for a few minutes, scraping off the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Finish chicken and let rest: Return chicken to the skillet and coat in sauce on both sides one by one. Or just pour the sauce over pan fried chicken breasts on a platter. Be sure to let chicken rest covered for 5-10 minutes.
How Long to Pan Fry Chicken Breast?
You may ask “how long to pan fry chicken breast?” and it’s a valid question. It depends on the size of skillet you use, size of chicken breasts and your stove.
Make sure the pan is preheated well before you add oil and then oil has a chance to heat up too. You want chicken to sizzle when it hits the skillet.
Pan frying chicken breasts in larger skillet will take a bit longer because the surface is bigger. Also electric stove may take longer to cook than gas stove or propane stove.
An 8 ounce, lightly pounded chicken breast should take about 8 minutes to pan fry.
How Do You Know When Chicken Is Done Frying?
As per USDA, poultry is safe to eat when instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breasts reaches internal temperature of 165 F. However, since we use very thin chicken cutlets this method wouldn’t be accurate.
Instead, cook chicken for 4 minutes per side and at the end cut into the center of chicken breast with a paring knife. If juices run clear, your chicken is ready to eat.
Tips for Best Results
Below find some tips to help you make the best pan fried chicken breasts in the world!
- Make sure skillet and oil are hot: First preheat the skillet. Then add oil and give it a chance to heat up as well. Chicken should make a hissing sound when it touches surface of the skillet.
- Do not flip chicken more than once: Resist the urge to peak under the chicken breast too early or flip it numerous times while frying. It won’t get that beautiful crust.
- Sauce will thicken as it rests: It might look too thin at first but if you let sauce rest a few minutes, it will thicken up.
- Don’t cover it: If you cover skillet with a lid during cooking, tender chicken breasts will rather steam than sear.
What Other Seasonings Can I Use?
There is almost no bad decision when it comes to seasoning your pan fried chicken breast. Always make sure to include salt and pepper, then add other dried herbs and spices to suit your personal taste.
Here are a few of my favorite seasoning blends:
What Sauces Pair with Pan Fried Chicken Breast?
If you like more of a saucy chicken, then season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and pan fry. 2-3 minutes before chicken is ready, add desired amount of Thai sweet chili sauce, chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce to the skillet.
After toss chicken gently in it, coating on both sides.
Pan-fried chicken breasts are best served along with some juicy salad like Mediterranean chickpea salad for a healthy meal.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Pan fried chicken breast is the juiciest on a first day. However, you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Technically, chicken can be stored for up to 5 days but I think it tastes best within first three days.
Freeze: Once cooked and cooled, place leftovers in a freezer bag or airtight container, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheat: To reheat chicken without drying it out, place in a skillet or pot with its juices and a bit of chicken stock, and simmer on low heat until heated through. You can also bake it covered at 325 F but that seems like a lot of work, but can be done.
Here is also a quick tutorial how to reheat chicken breast in air fryer.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter with this pan fried chicken breasts recipe. Cast iron pan takes longer to preheat and requires more oil for frying but sears well. Non-stick pan heats up faster and needs less oil than cast-iron skillet, and does the job. I like the latter one. Stainless steel pan works too.
Sure. No need to slice them in half, just make sure to tenderize.
No, I don’t recommend it because pan frying is a fast cooking method and bone-in chicken won’t be cooked inside before it starts burning on the outside.
Yes and no. Slicing chicken breasts reduces cooking time and makes them more tender. If you decide to use whole chicken breasts, pound them and cook for about 6 minutes per side. Don’t forget to let rest under the foil for 10 minutes.
More Stovetop Chicken Recipes to Try
Pan Fried Chicken Breast Recipe
- Pat dry chicken breasts with paper towels and cut thick ones in half lengthwise. You can leave thin ones alone.
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until even thickness. About 1 inch thick. Sprinkle with seasoning on both sides.
- Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Pan fry a couple chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes or until its edges turn white on top and golden crust forms on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Work in batches. Transfer cooked chicken onto a platter.
- Reduce heat to low and add butter and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and simmer for a minute or two, stirring and scraping brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Turn off heat.
- Return chicken breasts to the skillet and coat each on both sides with the sauce. Or just pour sauce over a platter with chicken.
- Cover chicken with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve hot with your favorite side or salad.