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! Jump to the Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme

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.

Sliced Pan Roasted Chicken

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.

Spooning the thyme butter over the chicken

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.

Perfectly cooked and golden brown chicken breasts

More chicken recipes!

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

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes 2 servings

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

Directions

    Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Pat the chicken breasts dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.

    Carefully 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.

    Transfer 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.)

    Remove 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 397 / Protein 43 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 24 g / Saturated Fat 8 g / Cholesterol 137 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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51 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Liz T June 24, 2020, 8:50 pm

    How long do you bake them if they’re bone-in?

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2021, 3:34 pm

      Hi Liz, Bone-in chicken breasts will take longer, I’d expect somewhere between 20 and 35 minutes.

      Reply
  • Jared April 14, 2020, 9:54 pm

    Awesome recipe, we will keep this one around. So easy and delicious.

    Reply
  • shelly March 16, 2020, 3:50 pm

    Hi. Can you tell me how cooking time would be affected if using bone in chicken breasts? Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2021, 3:34 pm

      Hi Shelly, Bone-in chicken breasts will take longer, I’d expect somewhere between 20 and 35 minutes.

      Reply
  • Fran January 12, 2020, 8:59 pm

    Easy and delicious. A keeper. Followed exactly, and especially liked the crispy thyme sprigs at the end.

    Reply
  • Fran January 12, 2020, 8:57 pm

    Excellent, easy and a keeper. Followed instructions exactly, and loved the results, including the crispy thyme at the end.

    Reply
  • Jean Rotor November 22, 2019, 4:01 am

    I would like to ask if ever i don’t have a oven safe pan is there any alternative. Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2021, 3:35 pm

      Hi Jean, You can sear the chicken on the stovetop first, and then transfer the it to a baking dish to finish cooking in the oven.

      Reply
  • John September 18, 2019, 2:26 am

    Is it necessary to puncture the skin prior to browning? I’ve heard that if the skin isn’t punctured that the fat layer beneath won’t properly render.

    Reply
    • Joanne September 19, 2019, 5:47 pm

      Hi John, This is not something we do in our kitchen and find that the fat renders beautifully and the skin browns nicely with this recipe.

      Reply
  • Paula April 10, 2019, 8:01 pm

    This dish is absolutely amazing. I love the flavor,it was easy to make, and fast to cook. Most importantly my picky teenager like it as well. Thank you so very much!!!

    Reply
  • Melanie Williams February 13, 2019, 7:35 pm

    Absolutely loved how easy and fast this was to make. It’s a new favorite dish at our house.

    Reply
  • Nina January 15, 2019, 4:01 pm

    The timings in this recipe are perfect! Very juicy and tender chicken.

    Reply
  • Emily October 11, 2018, 1:42 pm

    This is for sure one of my favorite chicken recipes. I cook this about once a week. I use chicken thighs bone-in instead of chicken breast. I also use rosemary instead of thyme. Gives it a whole different flavor! If you LOVE rosemary, I def recommend trying it!

    Reply
  • Michael Gibson July 7, 2018, 1:58 pm

    Cutting the chicken breasts in half or pounding them down so they are flatter and wider really helps make the final product even better.

    Reply
  • Stacy Morris April 8, 2018, 9:09 pm

    This recipe was easy and it tasted great! I used thighs instead and served it with zuchini and couscous. This recipe is a keeper!

    Reply
  • Kathryn Mader February 28, 2018, 10:52 pm

    This recipe is great. I love simple recipes but using the best ingredients. Thank you for sharing your expertise. My house smelled so good and I used this roasted chicken breast for enchiladas.

    Reply
  • Cade December 27, 2017, 8:32 pm

    Hello, can you advise what we did wrong? We used a cast iron skillet since I’m not sure if I have any other oven safe skillets. The chicken took close to 40 minutes to get to 165 in the oven. I have had a hard time with recipes and the chicken breasts that I’ve tried cooking and it’s frustrating. The chicken breasts I have are boneless skinless chicken breasts and are close to the correct weight.

    Reply
    • Joanne February 8, 2018, 2:28 pm

      Hi Cade, A cast iron pan is perfect for this recipe. Are you sure the oven temperature was correct? The chicken should have come to 165F in the time you mentioned. It’s also possible the thermometer used is uncalibrated. I hope that helps a bit! Another recipe for chicken breasts (which works really well with boneless, skinless chicken breasts) is this Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe. We cook them on the stove and they turn out really juicy and tender. This Baked Chicken Breast Recipe is also a favorite.

      Reply
      • JA February 21, 2018, 10:52 pm

        We also used cast iron and it took 35 minutes to reach 165- the chicken was definitely raw after 15 minutes, as I cut into it to check after my thermometer didn’t register above 130. Very Good, but did not cook in the time indicated.

        Reply
        • Shannon December 7, 2018, 1:19 pm

          You didn’t use frozen chicken, did you?

          Reply
          • Fiona December 11, 2019, 4:56 am

            I am wondering if you had the oven on 400F (I used 180C fan bake and it was fine in cast iron) BUT … I nearly read it as 165F for the oven as I was in a hurry!! This would be one possible explanation?

        • Sun January 27, 2019, 2:12 am

          Try cutting the Brest into 2. By thinning the breast the cooking time also decreases.

          Reply
    • Marjory March 21, 2019, 4:33 pm

      This was so good I made it twice in two weeks. Really fancy enough for company.

      Reply
      • Tania Evans December 8, 2019, 6:19 pm

        Loved this. Quick. Great flavor. Crispy outside. Sometimes chicken breasts are so boring! And it was a good excuse to get out the heavy cast iron, suitable for on-top and inside-the oven. I’ve been using several of your recipes recently and really like that they find the flavor. Thanks!

        Reply

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