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Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe (Stovetop)

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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! 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.

This recipe is included in my hardcover Easy Keto Cookbook, along with 99 other delicious recipes that make the most of simple ingredients. It has over 4,000 5-star reviews and counting!

Pan fried chicken breast on plates with cookbook nearby

Get The Easy Keto Cookbook

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 Fried 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.

Chicken breast on a cutting board 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.

Browned seared chicken breast in a skillet

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.

Garlic and shallot sauteed in cast iron skillet

  • 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.

Deglazed sauce in cast iron skillet

  • Finish sauce. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter and fresh herbs.

Sauce for pan fry chicken in a skillet

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.

Pan seared chicken breast with pan sauce drizzled over it

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.

Slices of pan fried chicken breast

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.

Stovetop chicken breast close up in a skillet

Storage Instructions

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.

Pan seared chicken breast on 2 plates with broccoli

What To Serve With Pan Seared Chicken Breast

All this pan fried chicken recipe needs is a few sides. Here are a few ideas:

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:

  • 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.

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The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.

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Perfect pan seared chicken breast recipe close up in a skillet

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Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe (Stovetop)

Learn how to sear chicken with this EASY stovetop pan seared chicken breast recipe. Just 25 minutes needed for perfectly juicy pan fried chicken breast, using simple ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

Recipe Video

Click or tap on the image below to play the video. It’s the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!

Ingredients

Click underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
Please ensure Safari reader mode is OFF to view ingredients.

Instructions

Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!

Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Season the chicken on both sides with sea salt and black pepper.

  2. 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.)

  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the butter, parsley, and thyme, just until the butter melts.

  7. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the butter, parsley, and thyme, just until the butter melts.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 chicken breast with 2-3 tbsp sauce (depending on how much you reduce it)

Video Showing How To Make Pan Seared Chicken:

Don’t miss the VIDEO above – it’s the easiest way to learn how to make Pan Seared Chicken!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 318

Fat 16.5g

Protein 36.2g

Total Carbs 2.1g

Net Carbs 1.7g

Fiber 0.4g

Sugar 0.5g

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.

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