This cast iron chicken breast is moist, savory, citrusy, and filling. A healthy gluten-free, high protein, Whole30 and a low carb meal.
This is the best way to cook chicken! Simple ingredients, moist and grilled on a cast iron skillet for full-on flavor.
Chicken is such a versatile protein to enjoy in so many ways.
You don’t always need to be complicated, especially if you have sourced free-range corn-fed boneless chicken breasts, which are full of flavor.
These juicy chicken breasts are finished with a delicious lemony butter that will bring a smile to your face.
Table of Contents
Cooking Time for Cast Iron Chicken
The secret to keeping these chicken recipes from being dry, which sometimes can be a complaint about chicken, is very simple.
Make sure the breasts are cut into even thickness. You don’t want thinner breasts, so when you cook them, the time will be short and even.
Get the temperature of your cast iron pan high. This is a great choice of pan and has an oven-safe handle.
Once hot, add your chicken to the cast-iron skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes on both sides over medium heat.
The cook time can be dependent on how thick your pieces of chicken are, so always check the meat is cooked through and not pink. A meat thermometer can also be useful.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Chicken breasts – Try and source some free-range or organic, corn-fed boneless skinless chicken breasts. They have a far superior flavor and texture, perfect for a simply seasoned dish like this.
Onion powder – This is a great store cupboard ingredient to easily add layers of taste to any simple recipe, so it’s worth always having a supply for the best results.
Find a good brand, as some aren’t quite as powerful.
Garlic powder – This is another essential for the cupboard. Garlic granules could be used, but the powder does seem to give a more even, pungent taste in these cast iron chicken breasts.
Oregano – Dried oregano can be used for many different cuisines, so a stock of this versatile herb is a good idea.
You could use fresh herbs here or dried or fresh parsley as an alternative. Italian seasoning would also work in a pinch.
Sea salt & black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper is the best choice for the best flavor. Sea salt will also give a slightly better result, although you could use regular table salt.
Lemon zest – Use a wax-free lemon here, or give your lemon a really good scrub to get rid of the layer on the outside.
Sunflower oil/canola/avocado oil – You can use whatever vegetable oil you like for this cast iron skillet chicken breast recipe but opt for a neutral flavor and one with a low smoke point.
Butter – Unsalted or salted can be used but try and opt for a good quality one as this butter adds the most delicious finish with this cooking method.
Lemon – Something large and juicy! Give it a good roll on the worktop to get it to loosen up a bit which will make it easier to juice into a small bowl. Store at room temperature.
How to Make Cast Iron Chicken Breast
Place the chicken breasts on a chopping board.
Pat each breast dry with a piece of kitchen towel.
Cut each of the fresh chicken breasts lengthwise through the center. You are trying to make 4 chicken breasts the same size and thickness as this will help produce an even cook.
Season both sides of the chicken breast with the spice mixture of onion and garlic powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
Next, sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the canola/avocado/sunflower oil.
Sear the chicken breasts for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked. If the chicken starts burning, lower the heat a little bit. Add a little more oil to the pan if you do think it’s sticking a little.
Remove the seared chicken breasts from the skillet and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Add butter or olive oil on top for more delicious flavor, and squeeze a little bit of lemon juice all over that flavorful chicken.
How to Keep Chicken from Sticking to Cast Iron?
The key here is to get the pan hot before adding the chicken breast. Also, don’t try to turn the chicken over until the pan seems to want to ‘release’ it.
Flip over and do the same again, making sure you keep the higher temperatures in the pan.
You can also add a little more oil to the pan if you find it still sticks.
How to Serve Skillet Chicken Breast?
There are so many side dishes you can serve this cast iron chicken breast recipe with.
For a light lunch, you could add a lightly dressed green salad with baby tomatoes, cucumber, and slices of bell pepper.
With these chicken breasts influenced by the tastes of Italy, you could go totally Mediterranean and add a simple side dish of arugula and balsamic dressing.
Baby new potatoes steamed and then drizzled with more dried oregano and melted butter would be a great accompaniment. Try adding some steamed or griddle spears of asparagus on the side too.
For a child-friendly addition, you could add some thin-cut potato wedges that have been baked with olive oil, sea salt, and some more garlic powder.
You could also place these on a wrap, add some of your favorite salad and roll it up to make a lunch that travels.
This recipe could also be made with boneless chicken thighs. Some people do prefer the texture and find it less dry than the breast.
You can prepare the thighs in the same way as the breasts, and again, try to keep the pieces of meat the same thickness.
Keep an eye on the cooking time as thighs do tend to be thinner and will take 1-2 minutes less to cook. Again, just be sure they are cooked through and no longer pink.
This chicken dish is good to use another day if you do have leftovers. Just cool it quickly and pop it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can shred the cold meat and add it to a salad another day.
You could also shred and mix it into a fresh soup to boost it with protein.
Mix the leftovers with some mayonnaise for a tasty sandwich filling, or top a baked potato with it.
You could also wrap it well and store it in the freezer for 3-4 months.
If you can buy chicken in larger quantities for a cheaper price, it would be a great recipe to double up and use as leftovers.
It’s much healthier than processed deli meats that you may use for lunch dishes instead.
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- 2 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- Sea salt & black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil/canola/avocado oil
- Slices of butter
- Slices of lemon
- Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel.
- Cut each chicken breast lengthwise through the center.
- Season both sides with onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
- Sprinkle lemon zest all over the chicken breasts.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola/avocado/sunflower oil.
- Sear chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side until cooked. If the chicken starts burning, lower the heat a little bit.
- Remove from the skillet and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Add butter or olive oil on top for more flavor, and squeeze a little bit of lemon juice all over.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 chicken breasts Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gTrans Fat: 0.2gUnsaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 1.5gNet Carbohydrates: 1.1gFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 22g
Nutritional values were obtained with automatic software using the amounts of products used. To get the most accurate representation of the nutritional values, you should calculate them with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for the nutritional information obtained to be accurate.