This easy blackened Cajun chicken is a perfect way to cook chicken breasts! Blackened chicken can be served alongside rice or in a salad, or in a delicious pasta!
There are definitely days throughout the year where I really just need something delicious and flavourful to cook up for lunch or dinner, with little fuss. OK, if I’m being honest, that’s every day. Ha! Anyway, this recipe for blackened Cajun chicken really shines when it comes to a simple, versatile chicken recipe. The chicken cooks up so quickly in a cast iron pan and tastes great. It’s perfect over salad, on the side with some rice and beans, or sliced and thrown into a flavourful pasta.
The possibilities are endless!
What Does “blackened Cajun” Mean?
While the term “blackened” might make you think that the food you’re about to enjoy is burnt, it isn’t! Blackening is actually a Cajun cooking technique that takes food, such as chicken or seafood, and seasoning it heavily before cooking it in a hot skillet. The seasoning turns dark and black, but it does not burn.
Cajun seasoning usually consists of some combination of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, thyme and other peppers and spices. There is no specific formula for Cajun seasoning as it varies depending on who is doing the cooking! For this blackened Cajun chicken recipe, I use a lot of paprika but I combine the other traditional herbs and spices too.
What Ingredients Do You Need for Blackened Chicken?
As I mentioned above, there are a few variations of a blackened chicken recipe, but I’ll list the ingredients I use in my own seasoning below. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
Of course, along with the seasoning itself you’ll need:
- chicken breasts
- oil (I like to use avocado oil).
How Do You Cook Blackened Cajun Chicken?
A true 30 minutes or less recipe, this chicken can be cooked in a cast iron (or nonstick skillet) pan on the stove in under 30 minutes. It’s so great for just whipping up some chicken to go along with a salad or other side. Follow the directions below to cook your own blackened chicken:
1. Combine all of the seasoning ingredients together and set aside. Lay the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board under a layer of wax paper, plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use a meat mallet to flatten the thicker part of the breasts to match up with the thinnest (make the breast(s) a uniform thickness).
2. Season the flattened chicken on both sides, rubbing the seasoning in thoroughly. Set aside.
3. Heat a large cast iron (or non stick skillet) with the avocado oil until it is hot, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken in the pan, arranging it all into a single layer. The meat should sizzle upon contact with the pan!
4. Cook the chicken on one side for about 5 minutes, before flipping it to the other side and cooking it on that side. When you flip it the chicken should have a blackened “crust” on the one side. The chicken needs to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 – a meat thermometer is very handy for checking this!
5. Once cooked through, remove the chicken to a plate. Lightly spritz a bit of lime all over the chicken and slice the breasts immediately to serve. You can also drizzle a bit of melted butter over the chicken – it’s delicious!
What Do You Serve Cajun Chicken With?
When I was first testing this chicken recipe, the chicken was so good right after cooking it, we ended up just demolishing the chicken right then and there, with no sides! But if you’re planning to feed your family and make a meal out of blackened Cajun chicken, you’ll probably want more than just a fork. You can serve chicken with any of the following side dishes or salads and it would be DELICIOUS:
- roasted potatoes
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- grilled Romaine caesar salad
- sautéed shredded Brussel sprouts
- garlic butter carrots
Can You Cook the Chicken Ahead of Time?
This blackened chicken is so good fresh off the skillet, but you could certainly cook it ahead of time and keep it for later. I would store the chicken (once cooled slightly) in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, I would heat a bit more oil up in the pan and warm it up that way, for a few minutes on each side.
Alternatively, serve the chicken cold! It would be a great meal prep idea! Bring a salad to work along with some of this precooked blackened Cajun chicken, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good lunch.
This chicken, once stored in an airtight container, will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Other Chicken Recipes From the Blog:
If you’re loving the sounds of this blackened chicken, you’ll also like a few of these main chicken recipes from the blog:Print
This easy blackened cajun chicken is a perfect way to cook chicken breasts! Blackened chicken can be served alongside rice or in a salad, or in a delicious pasta!
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 1–2 tbsp avocado oil (or oil of choice)
- optional: lime juice, melted butter for serving
- In a small bowl, combine all of the seasoning ingredients, from the paprika to the pepper, and set aside.
- Lay the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board under a layer of wax paper, plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use a meat mallet to flatten the thicker part of the breasts to match up with the thinnest (make the breast(s) a uniform thickness). Season the flattened chicken on both sides, rubbing the seasoning in thoroughly. Set aside.
- Heat a cast iron pan* or non stick skillet over medium-high heat on the stove, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil until it is hot, about 2-3 minutes. Arrange the seasoned chicken in the pan into a single layer. You may have to do this in 2 batches, in which case you should add more oil.,
- Cook the chicken on one side for about 5 minutes, before flipping all of the pieces to the other side and cooking it for ad additional 5 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Once cooked, the chicken should have a blackened “crust” on the one side.
- Once thoroughly cooked, remove the chicken to a plate. Lightly spritz a bit of lime and/or melted butter all over the chicken and slice the breasts immediately to serve.
Chicken will keep, once cooled to room temperature and placed into an airtight container, for 3-4 days in the fridge.
*A cast iron pan creates the best flavour and the best “blackening” but you can also use a nonstick pan.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: dinner
- Method: pan fry
- Cuisine: Cajun
Keywords: blackened Cajun chicken, blackened chicken, Cajun chicken