Perfectly pan roasted chicken breasts with butter and thyme. The chicken is golden brown, juicy in the middle and taste incredible! Jump to the Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
How to Pan Roast Chicken Breasts
Pan roasting is one of our favorite ways to cook chicken. We use the same method for cooking these lemon chicken thighs. It’s basically a two-part process. Sear the chicken in an oven-safe pan on top of the stove then slide it into the oven to finish cooking. We use a similar process for our skillet chicken breasts, but instead of letting the chicken finish in the oven, we cover them with a lid and keep them on the stove.
If we can find them, boneless skin-on chicken breasts are our go to for this recipe. Although, chicken thighs are also great. If you cannot find chicken breasts with the skin left on and the bone out, you can make this with bone-in breasts. You can also use skinless breasts, although, I have to admit, that golden-brown skin is my favorite part.
For this recipe, we cook the chicken in butter and add lots of fresh thyme — other herbs like rosemary or sage will work, too.
To make them, generously season the breasts with salt, and place them skin-side down into a hot pan.
When the chicken is golden brown, flip, and then add butter and the thyme. Now here’s the good part! When the butter has melted, spoon it all over the chicken, and then slide the pan into the oven so the chicken can finish cooking. While it roasts, open the oven door a couple times and spoon more of the butter over the chicken to keep it moist.
More chicken recipes!
- Roasted Rosemary Butterflied Chicken
- Simple Whole Roasted Chicken
- Best Juicy Grilled Chicken
- How to Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Lemon Chicken Thighs
Recipe updated, originally posted December 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme
Perfectly pan roasted chicken breasts with butter and thyme. The chicken is golden brown, juicy in the middle and taste incredible! If we can find them, boneless skin-on chicken breasts are our go to for this recipe. Although, chicken thighs would also be great. If you cannot find chicken breasts with the skin left on and the bone out, you can make this with bone-in breasts. You can also use skinless breasts, although, I have to admit the golden-brown skin is my favorite part.
You Will Need
2 boneless skin-on chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grape seed or canola
2 tablespoons butter
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
Half of a lemon, for serving
1Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2Pat the chicken breasts dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
3Carefully place chicken breasts into hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until skin is deep golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken then add the butter and thyme. When the butter has melted, spoon it over the chicken several times.
4Transfer skillet to the oven. Cook chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breasts registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the thyme butter over the chicken a couple times while it bakes. (If you are cooking bone-in chicken breasts, expect that they will take a bit longer, I’d expect somewhere between 25 and 35 minutes.)
5Remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with butter from the pan spooned on top as well as a squeeze of lemon.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
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I made this with boneless skinless breasts. I cut each breast into 3 pieces, butterflied the thick part, pounded until all were of about 3/4″ thick. I preheated my cast iron skillet in oven while my potatoes baked, took it out when they had 10 minutes to finish. Because I had pounded my chicken, I decided to finish on stovetop, as it was easier to baste and watch. Added oil, then chicken to hot pan on med-hi heat, flipping for about 6 minutes total. Removed chicken, started sauce. Because my fam LOVES sauce, I used 1 c.chardonnay, thyme, 2 tsp Dijon mustard,then butter and black pepper;addded chicken back to pan sauce and finished up. It was delicious – definitely a do-over!
This was absolutely delicious. The butter and thyme were so good and the chicken came out really juicy. I will definitely make this again.
I covered it instead of putting it in the oven. I can’t be bothered to do the oven thing since I’m only cooking for myself. It still came out delicious though. Will 10/10 cook it again.
Delicious. I have just discovered your site – it is great to find simple to make delicious food without garlic and onion. ( I can not eat either and it is frustrating how everyone just throws garlic in everything rather then finding herbs that work. Though you have what I’m sure are good recipes with garlic also)
This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes! Thank you for sharing this, we make it all of the time, it’s so versatile and it’s restaurant quality, much tastier than plain boneless chicken.
The first roast chicken I’ve really enjoyed, delicious. Thank you 🙂
Excellent! This recipe had my picky teenage granddaughter taste some and made her plate and immediately then asked for another piece. This a victory, well seasoned and juicy. THANK YOU
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