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Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breast

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Golden brown, tender and juicy, this is THE ultimate pan-seared chicken recipe! Serve as is with the pan sauce and some mashed potatoes or toss on a kale salad or with broccoli. 


  • 2 (10–12-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper (seasoned chix with ¾ tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 


Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise to create two halves, one that’s naturally thicker and one that’s naturally thinner.

Slice thick halves in half horizontally to create two thinner halves.

step-by-step grid of images showing how to slice chicken breast into three thin pieces

Using the heel of your hand, firmly press all six chicken pieces (3-4 ounces each) into an even ¼-inch thickness; season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering; swirl to coat pan.

Add chicken pieces in an even layer and cook until bottom sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers registers 163–165ºF, 3–5 minutes more (the smaller pieces will likely be done first, pull them as they come to temperature and are finished cooking). Transfer chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

two images showing how to pan sear chicken in a skillet

Decrease heat to low, add butter to skillet and swirl until melted. Whisk together broth and cornstarch then carefully add to pan (stand back as it will splatter). Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minute. Drizzle sauce over chicken and serve. 



It’s important to use a 12-inch skillet to avoid overcrowding. If the chicken is too crowded it will steam instead of sear (which is also delicious but not quite what we’re going for). 

Keywords: pan seared chicken breast, skillet chicken breast,

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