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Blackened Chicken (Baked, Grilled, Or Cooked in Skillet)

Blackened Chicken, a flavorful Cajun Chicken recipe with signature blackened spice crust. Whether baked in oven, grilled, or cook in cast iron skillet,  the resulting chicken is bursting with flavor of Cajun spices, looks tempting, and tastes incredible. This recipe is keto, low-carb, and weeknight dinner approved. (Leftovers are even more flavorful with a crunchy chopped salad.) 

Including instructions to bake Blackened Chicken, cook on the grill and traditional pan-fried in cast iron skillet. With just 20 minutes prep and pantry staples, this Cajun chicken main course is much easier to prepare at home than you might imagine. With my Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe, you can even make it tonight!

So, let's cook some Blackened Chicken! Shall we?

(Oh, and if you like Spiced Chicken (Grilled or Baked)? Don't forget to checkout my Chicken Souvlaki, Pollo Asado - Mexican Orange Chicken, Chicken Fajita, Chicken Tikka, Za'atar Chicken, and Chicken Al Pastor recipes.)

Baked Blackened Chicken Recipe

WHAT IS BLACKENED CHICKEN?

Blackened Chicken is result of cooking chicken on high heat with spices and dairy product. Also know as "Blackening" , this cooking method is very popular in Cajun cuisine. Chicken or fish is first dipped in melted butter, and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices - known as Blackened Cajun Chicken Rub or Seasoning. Traditionally, chicken is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet. The butter and charred spices make a brown crust on chicken. It looks incredible, and flavors is over-the-chart delicious.

Looking at the Blackened Cajun Chicken, you can't tell it's THAT easy to cook. Simply, dip in butter, dredge in Blackened Cajun Spice and cook on high heat. Serve Blackened Chicken even for weeknight dinner! How good does that sound?!

TRADITIONAL BLACKENED CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET:

Traditionally, Blackened Chicken is cooked in cast-iron skillet. To make Blackened Chicken in skillet, follow these simple steps:

  1. Split chicken breast in half lengthwise. Pound the chicken breast with back of skillet or meat pound to make 1/4 inch uniform-thick chicken pieces.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet. Coat chicken in butter. Dredge chicken in Blackened Cajun Spice mix. Cook in small batches until caramelized from both sides and fully cooked through.
  3. For best results, don't over-crowd the pan. Cook in small batches.

BAKED BLACKENED CHICKEN:

Baking Blackened Chicken makes it easier to cook and weeknight-dinner-approved.  I opt to bake instead of cooking in the skillet any given day. This saves me a lot of time (lost otherwise to sear chicken in batches).

To bake Blackened Chicken, simply coat in butter, dredge in spice-rub, and then bake in oven pre-heated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  1. Blackened Chicken baked has perfectly smoky blackened spice crust and more infused flavor of spices in chicken breast.
  2. Chicken cooks evenly every time. 
  3. Cooking time is quick and needs no perching on stove top.You can bake a big batch in almost same time.
  4. You can make pan-dripping sauce [See Step 6] which makes good sauce to pour over cooked blackened chicken. (I highly recommend trying this.)

Blackened Chicken Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

GRILLED BLACKENED CHICKEN:

To grill Blackened Chicken, preheat grill on medium heat. Follow all steps as-is from Recipe Card. Instead of baking in Step-5, grill on medium-low heat until chicken is fully cooked and has nice grill marks. For more flavor, brush with melted butter in last 5 mins of cooking.

If you haven't started grilling yet (like us with still snowing outside)? Baked Blackened Chicken recipe is great way to a tasty Chicken Dinner without much effort.

Blackened Chicken

BLACKENED CHICKEN SIDES:

Today, I served Blackened Chicken with Cauliflower Rice and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

  1. For a more traditional dinner, serve Blackened Chicken with Cajun-staple sides such as Buttermilk Biscuits, Green Beans, Braised Black-eyed Peas etc.
  2. For a modern low-carb dinner, serve Blackened Chicken with side of Cauliflower Rice or Zoodles.
  3. For keto dinner, serve with side of Green Salad or Cloud Bread.

I hope this will make to your dinner this week. Grab recipe for DIY Blackened Seasoning, bring home some chicken and try Blackened Chicken for dinner. 

Have a great rest of the day! -Savita 

Serve a side salad:

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Blackened Chicken (Baked, Grilled, Or Cooked in Skillet)

Blackened Chicken (Baked, Grilled, Or Cooked in Skillet)
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 4-6 Servings Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken  (breast, about 2-3 skinless and boneless breast, split lengthwise to yield 2 pieces each)
  • 4 tbsp Blackening Seasoning  (See Note 1 for recipe)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon  (juice)
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter  
  • Salt  
  • 1 Garlic  (clove, grated)

Directions

  • 1. Marinate: In a bowl, add chicken breast (sliced lengthwise) with lemon juice, minced garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt. Toss to coat chicken. Set aside for 30 minutes. Up-to 4 hours.
  • 2. When ready to cook, set oven to preheat at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
  • 3. Take chicken out on clean plate. Discard marinade (lemon-garlic mixture), if any. Pat chicken dry with clean paper towels.
  • 4. Pour melted butter in a medium-wide bowl. Pour blackening seasoning in other. Take one chicken piece at a time, coat both sides in butter, then dredge in blackening seasoning. Press gently to make sure seasoning adhere to chicken pieces. Place dredged chicken on baking sheet, spaced 1-2 inch apart. Repeat for remaining pieces. (See Note 1 and 2 to Grill or Cook in Skillet)
  • 5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit in thickest part of chicken breast. Let rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to serving bowl.
  • 6. Put baking sheet on stove top, add 1/4 cup chicken stock. Let the stock heat. Scrap with spoon to release all spices/caramelized bits chicken stuck to sheet pan into chicken stock. Transfer all juices to a bowl.
  • 7. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Slice. Pour pan-juices on top and serve. (See Note 3 for serving suggestions) Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Make your own Blackened Spice using my Homemade Blackening Spice recipe. If planning to use store-bought, I recommend to buy following blackened seasoning brands from your local grocery store or online.

    Chef Paul Blackened Seasoning

    Old Bay Blackened Seasoning 

  2. GRILLED BLACKENED CHICKEN:

    To make Grilled Blackened Chicken, preheat grill on medium heat. Follow all steps as-is from Recipe Card. Instead of baking in Step-5, grill on medium-low heat until chicken is fully cooked and has nice grill marks. For more flavor, brush with melted butter in last 5 mins of cooking.

  3. TRADITIONAL BLACKENED CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET:

    Traditionally, Blackened Chicken is cooked in cast-iron skillet. Chicken is first dipped in melted butter, and then dredged in Blackened Chicken Rub, then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet. To make Blackened Chicken in skillet, follow these simple steps:

    1. Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise. Pound the chicken breast with back of skillet or meat pound to make 1/4 inch thick uniform-thick chicken pieces.
    2. Heat a cast iron skillet. Coat chicken in butter. Dredge chicken in Blackened Cajun Spice mix. Cook in small batches until caramelized from both sides and fully cooked through.
    3. For best results, don't over-crowd the pan. Cook in small batches.

Recipe slightly adapted from WikiHow

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