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Quick Pan-seared Chicken Breasts

So you wanna learn how to make juicy pan-seared chicken breasts, eh? The secret to a good sear is to remove as much surface moisture from the protein, and make sure the oil is damn near smoking. Also, leave the meat alone! It will let you know when it’s ready to flip over. If you start poking at it, and it’s sticking? It’s not ready. If it moves around or releases with minimum effort, it’s ready. Now that you know those basics, you shouldn’t have trouble getting a wonderful color and crust on your fish, chicken, or steak.

The following recipe is one that you could totally custom to however many chicken boobies you’re cooking. Whether it’s one or two, or eight — this method works. If your chicken breasts are super fat and plump, pound them out so that they’re even in thickness – but not paper thin. This will help the meat cook evenly and quickly. Normally, I wouldn’t pound the meat out, but for the sake of time, we’re doing it today. I usually finish the chicken off in the oven, but that step isn’t necessary here. We’re looking for fast, easy and tasty. We’ve got that.

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Quick Pan-seared Chicken Breasts


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, pounded flat and evenly (not too thin)
  • pinch red pepper flake
  • pinch Herbes de Provence
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Chardonnay (or other white wine)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Wash chicken breasts. Pat dry and place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. With a meat mallot, pound chicken into an even thickness.
  2. Sprinkle sea salt, herbes de provence, black pepper over one side of each chicken breast.
  3. Heat olive or coconut oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until whisps of smoke appear. Gently place each chicken breast in the skillet, careful not to overcrowd it. Season the other side of each chicken breast while it cooks. Allow the chicken to sear for about 4 minutes per side. Set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low. Remove pan from heat, you should have lots of delicious brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze those yummy bits with the white wine, stirring with a wooden spoon. Bring skillet back to the heat and allow the white wine to reduce just slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the butter and fresh herbs. Pour over the chicken and serve.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
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Recipe rating

  1. Java H says:

    Can the white wine be substituted with chicken stock? I’m preggers and feeding a 3-year-old.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    A knockout! Many thanks. Reviewed on Yummly too.

  3. Jen says:

    Delicious!!!! Drying out the chicken changed everything.

  4. Hana says:

    Hi Resha,

    I’ve been following your blog and Twitter for years now because I love the refreshing, sassy, and humor-filled way you write. Despite all the mouth-watering things you post, though, I’m ashamed to say it took me this long to make something for no good reason in particular. …But last night I made this chicken, the roasted carrots, and the kale, and it was a HIT. My boyfriend wasn’t even finished polishing off all the food when he sheepishly asked me to make more. (I obliged, but not the kale because too much prep work, haha.) The second round quickly disappeared, as well. Thank you for making an easy, healthy recipe that will sure become a go-to in my repertoire. Can’t wait for what else you have in store for Carnal Dish!

  5. Cheraine says:

    I made this tonight to try something new and it was SOOOO GOOD!! Sprinkled a little Adobo on the chicken breast with the other seasonings but I prob didn’t need it. I said I was going to eat this for lunch but I have to finish it NOW! THANKS SO MUCH!!!

  6. Vanessa says:

    Thank you!!! My husband loved it! I made the roasted carrots asparagus and a salad

  7. Crystal says:

    WOW, thank you!!! I wanted something good and different and this did not disappoint! Actually, it was even more delicious the day after….love love love the Kale, learned I only needed 1 tablespoon of vinegar :).

  8. Amber says:

    I made this tonight and it turned out great. Somehow better than any other time I pan seared chicken breast. The sauce tastes amazing and takes no time to make.

  9. Tanisha says:

    Thank you for this! I consider myself a decent cook but don’t know all the “rules”. So I appreciate the tips you throw in! Now I know the right way to sear. 🙂

  10. Tawanda says:

    Thank you for posting this healthy recipe, this meal looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.