From Pan to Plate: Mastering Perfectly Seared Chicken Breast

Perfect your seared chicken breast with this no-fuss recipe. You’ll definitely want to keep this recipe close and follow our expert tips to guarantee that ideal golden sear and rich flavor for a foolproof meal every time.


Marinate or Dry Brine

Since a boneless, skinless chicken breast is the absolute leanest part of a chicken, it benefits from marinating or dry brining. If pressed for time, a generous season will make a difference, but a yogurt marinade or a dry brine for 30 minutes will produce a juicy, flavorful result.

Invest in an Instant-Read Thermometer

An instant-read thermometer is an essential tool if you’re not completely comfortable cooking chicken. Check the temperature of your breast to ensure it’s not significantly under or over the 165°F mark. If you don’t have a thermometer, cook your chicken until the juices run clear when pierced.

Even Thickness, Even Cook

Bonus points: If your breasts are significantly thicker in parts, pound them out to an even thickness for a more even cook. 

Seared Chicken Breasts with Pan Sauce

5 from 2 votes
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Protein: Poultry
Cut: Chicken Breast
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2


For the chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil

For the pan sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup chicken stock or bone broth
  • 2 tbsp of tender herbs parsley, chives, dill, or tarragon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Season the breasts on both sides with salt and pepper, and set aside for 30 mins.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken breasts and sear, about 5 minutes on each side, or until a thermometer registers 155°F. The chicken will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside.
  • Make the pan sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and garlic, and cook until just beginning to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and loosen any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium until the liquid is a syrupy consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue to reduce, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Swirl until emulsified in the sauce. Stir in fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  • To serve, slice the chicken breasts and top with sauce and more fresh herbs.


This recipe calls for you to season your chicken breasts and let them rest for 30 minutes. Make sure your chicken is thawed the night before, and season it ahead of time to save time during prep and get dinner on the table in minutes!
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Ashley Lonsdale is the chef at ButcherBox. Her big hope is for a world where everyone can access the joy of food. That hope is precisely why she spends her free time as an associate board member for the Food Education Fund and writing recipes for her newsletter FOODSTAR. Previously, she was the culinary director for Daily Harvest, a private chef, and a line cook in various New York City kitchens. She is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.