How Long to Pan Roast Chicken Breasts: A Foolproof Guide

Are you craving juicy, flavorful chicken breasts but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen? Look no further than pan-roasting! This simple technique combines the convenience of pan-searing with the even cooking of oven-roasting, resulting in perfectly cooked chicken every time. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the art of pan-roasting chicken breasts, including how long to cook them for optimal juiciness and tenderness.

Understanding Pan-Roasting

Pan-roasting is a two-step cooking method that combines the benefits of searing and roasting. Here’s how it works:

  1. Searing: First, you sear the chicken breasts in a hot oven-safe skillet to create a crispy, golden-brown exterior and lock in the natural flavors.
  2. Roasting: Next, you transfer the skillet to a preheated oven, allowing the chicken to roast until it reaches the desired internal temperature, ensuring even cooking throughout.

This method not only delivers deliciously crispy and juicy chicken breasts but also allows you to create a flavorful pan sauce from the rendered juices and browned bits in the skillet.

How Long to Pan Roast Chicken Breasts

The cooking time for pan-roasting chicken breasts can vary depending on several factors, such as the thickness of the breasts, the temperature of the oven, and whether the chicken is boneless or bone-in. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (6-8 oz each):

    • Sear for 6-8 minutes per side
    • Roast in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 10-15 minutes
  • Bone-in, Skin-on Chicken Breasts:

    • Sear for 5-6 minutes per side
    • Roast in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 25-35 minutes

It’s important to note that the best way to ensure your chicken breasts are cooked to perfection is to use an instant-read thermometer. The safe internal temperature for fully cooked chicken is 165°F (74°C).

Step-by-Step Guide to Pan-Roasting Chicken Breasts

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of pan-roasting chicken breasts:

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt, pepper, and your desired herbs or spices.

  2. Preheat the Oven and Skillet: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place an oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron or stainless steel) in the oven to preheat as well.

  3. Sear the Chicken: Once the skillet is hot, carefully remove it from the oven and place it over high heat on the stovetop. Add a tablespoon or two of oil or butter to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in the skillet, skin-side down (if using skin-on breasts), and sear for 6-8 minutes, or until the bottom develops a golden-brown crust.

  4. Flip and Transfer to Oven: Flip the chicken breasts and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast for the recommended time based on the thickness and type of chicken breasts you’re using.

  5. Check the Internal Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breasts. Once the temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), remove the skillet from the oven.

  6. Let it Rest: Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board or plate and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring maximum juiciness.

  7. Optional: Make a Pan Sauce: While the chicken rests, you can use the rendered juices and browned bits in the skillet to create a flavorful pan sauce. Simply deglaze the skillet with a splash of broth, wine, or vinegar, and whisk in a knob of butter or cream for a rich, velvety sauce.

Tips for Perfectly Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts

  • Use an Oven-Safe Skillet: Make sure your skillet is oven-safe and can withstand high temperatures. Cast iron and stainless steel are excellent choices.

  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Leave enough space between the chicken breasts to ensure proper searing and even cooking.

  • Baste or Flip During Roasting: For extra juiciness, baste the chicken with the rendered juices or melted butter halfway through the roasting process, or flip the breasts over to ensure even browning.

  • Let it Rest: Allowing the chicken to rest after cooking is crucial for maintaining its juiciness and preventing the juices from escaping when you cut into it.

  • Experiment with Flavors: Pan-roasting is a versatile technique that allows you to experiment with different herbs, spices, and marinades to create endless flavor combinations.

With this foolproof guide, you’ll be able to pan-roast chicken breasts to juicy perfection every time. Whether you’re meal-prepping for the week or simply craving a delicious and easy weeknight dinner, pan-roasted chicken breasts are sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.

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How long does it take to cook chicken breast in a pan?

Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the chicken breasts (skin-side down, if they have skin) and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Then turn over, cover and cook on the other side for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through.

How do you cook chicken breast in a pan so it doesn t dry out?

Her suggestion: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pan in a single layer, cover with a few inches of liquid (water, broth, etc.), add flavorings (spices, salt, herbs, soy sauce, etc.), then bring the liquid just barely to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers.

Is it better to cook chicken breast in oven or pan?

While both baking and pan frying can give you tasty, juicy chicken, if you are in a hurry, it is better to pan fry it. Because baked chicken breast is easy to dry out, it needs time to brine or marinade before you cook it.

Do you have to put water in roasting pan when roasting a chicken?

It’s usually not necessary to add water to the pan for a roast chicken: the steam created by the water can prevent the skin from becoming browned and crisp.

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