Our no-fail recipe for juicy in the center chicken breasts. We use a skillet on the stove for the juiciest, most tender chicken. Our method works for all cuts of chicken, but it is especially helpful for lean chicken breasts.
Watch the Video
Related: Many of our readers love these pan roasted chicken breasts cooked with butter and thyme.
How to Cook Chicken Breasts
Say goodbye to flavorless, dry chicken breasts and hello to mouthwatering, succulent, juicy chicken. It’s easy to do at home. Here’s our easy, no-fail method for skillet chicken breasts:
- Cook seasoned chicken breasts in a skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Reduce the heat to low, add a splash of liquid, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Our easy recipe works for all cuts of chicken but is especially helpful for chicken breasts. For more ways to cook chicken breasts, see our baked chicken breasts, this perfect poached chicken, and this recipe for grilled chicken breasts.
More Tips for Cooking Chicken Breasts
Pound the chicken breasts into one thickness: I’m sure you’ve noticed that chicken breasts are thicker on one end than the other, which can cause uneven cooking.
If your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are larger and thick on one end, you can use a mallet or rolling pin to pound them to a more even thickness. We use this trick when grilling chicken, too. We don’t always do this step, but we recommend it if your chicken breasts are large and thick.
Season your chicken well: You don’t need to marinate the chicken, but we do recommend seasoning with salt before cooking. If you want to marinate, we love this chicken marinade recipe. For the chicken breast recipe below, I use our simple spice rub:
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, I love our homemade chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the juiciest chicken, use your skillet’s lid: We use this trick when cooking meat a lot — see our juicy skillet pork chops. First, we sear one side of the chicken until browned, flip it, turn the heat to low, and cover the skillet with a lid.
The second side will slowly turn golden brown, and since we added the lid, the heat from the pan will gently cook the middle. Gently cooking chicken breasts this way keeps them juicy and tender.
Allow the cooked chicken to rest: Before cutting it, give the cooked chicken a few minutes on the counter, covered with some foil.
The chicken will finish cooking as it sits, and all the juices inside will either redistribute inside the chicken or fall out onto your plate. If there are juices on your plate, save them! They make the best sauce.
How to Tell When Chicken Breasts are Done
- Use an internal thermometer — this is our preferred method since it’s no-fail! Chicken breasts are cooked when an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165° Fahrenheit. Since we’ve used our guaranteed juicy chicken cooking method, the chicken will still be nice and juicy in the middle if you remove them from the heat at 165° Fahrenheit.
- Check that the juices run clear. Another way to check if the chicken is done is to pierce it with a knife. If the juices that come out are clear, the chicken should be cooked. While the thermometer method is still preferred, this can be a helpful visual check.
What to Serve With Chicken Breast
This is one of our favorite chicken breast recipes, and we hope you try it soon. Here are a few side dishes we love serving them with:
- Our best homemade coleslaw — It’s crunchy, bright, and delicious, thanks to a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
- Add a healthy, low-carb side of mashed cauliflower. It takes about 20 minutes and would be excellent served with the pork.
- For a more traditional side, give our favorite homemade mashed potatoes a try.
- Chicken added to salad is classic. Make a bed of greens and fresh veggies, then choose your favorite dressing. We love this homemade ranch. You can also make chicken Caesar salad by adding it to this freshly made salad.
- We both love this recipe for marinated chicken breasts with a cucumber and feta salad (in this recipe, we use the same no-fail method to cook the chicken).
The Best Juicy Chicken Breasts
Our no-fail recipe for juicy in the center chicken breasts. We use a skillet on the stove for the juiciest, most tender chicken.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 2 large breasts or 3 medium
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder, see our homemade chili powder recipe
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil or other high heat cooking oil
Half of a lemon, quartered, optional
1Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and season on both sides with salt — we use just less than 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt per chicken breast.
2Make the spice rub by combining the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and black pepper. Liberally dust the spice rub all over the chicken.
3Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium frying pan (with lid) over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden.
4Flip, reduce the heat to low, and then splash a few tablespoons of water (or broth) into the skillet. Cover the skillet with a lid.
5Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
6Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, cut into thick slices, and then serve with pan drippings and lemon wedges.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.