How to Perfectly Cook Chicken Breast on the Stove
There are as many variations on cooking chicken breasts as there are cooks, and I’d say that is a very good thing, as it ensures we never grow tired of this dinner staple. Pan-seared chicken breast, cooked in a little oil with salt and pepper and finished with a generous knob of butter, is the first way I learned to cook chicken breast on the stove and a technique I always go back to.
How to Cook Chicken Breasts in a Pan
Cook a boneless, skinless chicken breast over medium-high heat in a pan that’s wide and deep to accommodate the chicken and keep splatter to a minimum. Flip the chicken after 5 minutes (don’t poke, prod, wiggle, or try to flip). After you’ve flipped, add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook for another 5 minutes for a golden, juicy piece of meat.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast on the Stove
You’ll cook chicken breast on the stove for roughly 10–14 minutes, flipping halfway through the cook time.
What Kind of Pan Should I Use for Chicken on the Stove?
What Ingredients Do I Need?
For classic pan-seared chicken breast, you’ll need:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about one pound total)
- Oil and butter
How Can I Tell When My Chicken Is Done?
What to Serve with Pan-Seared Chicken Breast
Serves2 to 4
boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)
- 3/4 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon
unsalted butter or ghee
Knife and cutting board
10-inch or larger skillet
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Pat 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season all over with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a 10-inch or larger skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes.
Carefully add the chicken to the hot pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Swirl the pan just before adding the chicken to evenly distribute the oil. Add the chicken and do not touch, poke, or move the chicken. Cook until browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. If you try to turn the chicken and it feels stuck, it isn't golden and crispy or ready to flip.
Flip the chicken and cook until it reaches 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium. Flip the chicken over and add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee right between them. Pick up the pan and give it a gentle swirl to distribute the melting butter. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes more.
Slice and serve. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate or clean cutting board. Let rest for 3 minutes before slicing and serving.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.