Restaurant Chicken

For years (no, I am not exaggerating), I have been trying to recreate what I call “restaurant chicken”.  You know, that perfectly charred and juicy chicken breast you find on salads, fajita plates, etc. from restaurants.  They seem to be able to get theirs perfectly cooked while keeping it moist and deliciously seasoned.  I, on the other hand, would always end up with a chewy, dry mess that was still pink on the inside.

After trying lots and lots of different methods, I finally landed on the winner! Surprisingly, if you cook chicken like a steak it will come out perfectly charred, juicy, and NOT PINK INSIDE.

Keep on reading below to see how I’ve perfected it!

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.  While the oven is getting ready, heat a cast iron skillet on medium.
  2. Spray the skillet with zero calorie cooking spray then place the chicken breast (un-seasoned) in the skillet.  Season the exposed side with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  This is the basic trifecta – once you’ve seasoned with these three you can add other flavors to suit your tastes such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, etc.
  3. After about 3 minutes, flip the chicken breast over and cook an additional 3 minutes.  The cooked side should be golden brown and have a nice char.
  4. Once both sides have been cooked, take the entire cast iron skillet and place it in the oven for 6 minutes.
  5. After it is finished baking in the oven, the chicken breast will be cooked on the inside and crunchy on the outside from your initial sear.  Voila – restaurant chicken!


  1. How long do you leave the cast iron skillet on medium heat before adding the chicken (i.e., how do you know it’s heated through)?


    • Hi Savannah! If mine are really big, I cut them in half butterfly style so they cook through all the way. However, if you have a pretty normal size chicken breast (3-6 oz.) you should be fine to cook it without cutting. Hope that helps!


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