Blackened Chicken (Juicy and tender!)

This blackened chicken is a deliciously flavorful way to prepare chicken that takes less than 20 minutes to make! Made with just 5 ingredients and perfectly juicy every single time. 

how to blacken chicken

As a family, we enjoy chicken at least three times a week. 

Family favorites include peanut butter chicken or crispy baked chicken wings. Sometimes I whip out the air fryer to cook some drumsticks or chicken thighs. However, one of my go-to ways to enjoy it is blackened chicken. 

What is blackened chicken? 

Blackened chicken is made up of chicken breast or thighs coated with a spice mix and then seared over high heat. The spice mixture gives the blackened chicken its characteristic blackened texture and flavor. 

This dish originally gained popularity as a part of street food but is now served as mainstream food worldwide. It first gained popularity in the south of the United States. 

Why this blackened chicken recipe will be a dinnertime favorite-

  • 5 Ingredients. The chicken, some oil, and the seasonings! 
  • Ready in less than 20 minutes. No marinating time required, so it’s a quick and easy dinner idea
  • Juicy and tender. The spice mix acts like a ‘breading’, keeping the chicken inside extra juicy and tender.
  • Healthy and low in carbs. Packed with protein, no carbs, and very little fat, it’s a healthy dinner option. 

What I love about this chicken is just versatile it is! I love using the leftovers in a tortilla, in a salad, or shredded and added to a buffalo dip!

Ingredients needed 

For blackened seasoning 

  • Smoked paprika– For the smoky flavor. 
  • Cumin– Adds a lovely umami flavor. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste.
  • Dried thyme– Improves the texture of blackened chicken. 

For the chicken 

  • Chicken breasts– Skinless and boneless breast fillets.
  • Olive oil– Just a touch to hold all the juices inside. 

How to make blackened chicken 

Prepare the skillet and oven: Grease a skillet and preheat the oven. 

Season the chicken: add the blackened seasoning mixture and chicken breasts into a bowl. Add the oil then rub the chicken  with seasoning to coat them well.  

Broil the chicken: Put the seasoned chicken in the greased skillet and broil for 17 to 19 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165F.

Remove from oven and serve: Remove the skillet from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing up and serving. 

how to make blackened chicken

Is blackened food burnt? 

No, blackened chicken isn’t actually burnt (although it looks like it!). The burnt flavor and texture come when the spices sear while cooking blackened chicken. 

Tips to make the best chicken 

  • Use organic chicken breast fillets, as they are free of additives, nitrates, and preservatives. 
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. This guarantees the chicken in being super juicy. 
  • Adjust the cooking time as per the thickness of the chicken breasts. If they are thinner, you’ll need less time to cook and if they are thicker, keep them for more time in the oven to cook properly. 

What to serve with this dish?

For a healthy and balanced meal, serve this chicken with salads, like coleslaw, potato salad, or a spinach salad

You can also serve it with some heartier sides, like mac and cheese, cauliflower mac and cheese, or a plethora of low carb sides

Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions 

  • To Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days. 
  • To Freeze: Put the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • Reheating: Either microwave the chicken for 30-40 seconds or reheat in the oven until warm. 
blackened chicken

More chicken recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between blackened and grilled chicken?

Blackened chicken looks burnt, because of its spice mixture, while grilled chicken has a golden, outer surface. Blackened chicken has a distinct spicy and smoky flavor. Grilled chicken can be flavored a plethora of ways.

What does blackened mean for chicken?

Blackened refers to the blackened seasoning, which is a mixture of spices used to coat the chicken.

Is blackened the same as Cajun?

Blackened seasoning differs from Cajun seasoning. The former is spicier and has a more smoky flavor.

blackened chicken recipe

For the blackened seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

For the chicken

  • 4 small chicken breasts 4-6 oz each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Set the oven to a broil setting and grease a skillet.  

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the blackened seasoning mixture. 

  • Add the chicken breasts to a bowl and cover in the oil. Rub the seasoning over each filet until generously coated. 

  • Place them in the greased skillet and broil for 17-19 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

  • Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, before slicing up.

TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
TO FREEZE: Put the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: Either microwave the chicken for 30-40 seconds or reheat in the oven until warm. 

Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 714mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg