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"Superman Lover" Easy Blackened Chicken {Recipe}

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This easy blackened chicken recipe is perfect for one of those busy weeknights. Elevate bland chicken breasts to big, spicy, and bold in under 15 minutes and with a few staple ingredients you’re highly likely to have on hand.

"Blackened chicken" is usually the answer when I'm struggling to decide on what's for dinner. It meets most of the key criteria - ease of cooking, big flavor, and having ingredients on hand.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a freezer ingredient staple in my crib. The recipe is as simple as defrosting - seasoning - cooking. What makes blackened chicken even better is its versatility. You can serve it as a main dish, appetizer, or as an ingredient in salad, tacos, etc.

Blackened Chicken Recipe Inspiration

This recipe is a riff on famous cajun chef, Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish. I basically took that recipe and applied it to chicken breasts. Chef Prudhomme is legendary and his original blackened redfish recipe is proof positive that simplicity can be a great thing.

Beats and Eats (Music to Pair with Blackened Chicken)

When I first started cooking blackening proteins was one of the first techniques I learned. I don’t rely on it too often, but when I need to liven up a protein or vegetable for a quick weeknight dish I will indulge. Turn up the Johnny “Guitar” Washington "Superman Lover" track to get you in the mood and make the weekday feel like the weekend.

The track is a bold braggadocious anthem backed by bluesy funk beats. It's a great song, but one that isn't too heavy. In fact, it is quite a hilarious song that will add to the fun factor in this recipe and when eating it.

BLACKENED CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Butter

For the Blackened Seasoning

  • Smoked paprika (sweet)
  • Dried thyme
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Red cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

How To Make Blackened Chicken (Step by Step)

The key to blackening chicken is high heat. Whether you’re baking, grilling or pan-frying you want your heat surface as hot as possible. A cast-iron skillet is the perfect cooking vessel for making blackened chicken.

Chef Prudomme’s original recipe achieves great flavor by buttering up the protein first before adding the seasoning mix. This step also has the added benefit of ensuring the spices stick. The cooking of the butter in combination with the color in the seasoning mix is what gives it that color. If you’re comfortable doing it, spoon the butter on top of the chicken breast as you cook.

step 1: prepare the blackened seasoning

Mix all the spices together in a mixing bowl or ramekin. Set aside.

step 2: flatten the chicken

Pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Make sure the breasts are evenly flattened for easier cooking.

step 3: season the chicken

Brush both sides of the chicken with melted butter for adhesion and flavor. Season well with the blackened seasoning.

step 4: cook

Pre-heat the cast iron skillet on high heat. Add remaining butter, then chicken breasts frying for 4 minutes. Flip and fry for another 3 minutes basting the chicken with butter as it cooks. That's it! Simple and easy...

COOKING TIPS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Use a cast iron skillet if available. It retains heat well which helps get the color and texture right. You’ll essentially want a black spicy crust that provides big surface level flavor but also locks in the juiciness of the chicken

Blackening season blends vary depending on the cook/chef, however most consist of your typical cajun spices. You can make your own or use your favorite available commercial/store blend. There are some really good pre-made blends out there if you prefer not to make your own. 

One of the benefits of making your own seasoning mix is you can dial up/down the heat level. It’s just a matter of how much cayenne pepper you decide to use. Most pre-made are fairly mild.

If you have clarified butter or ghee available to you use in place of butter. It has a much higher smoke point. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. Once an oil gets past its smoke point it starts to taste burnt!

Skinless boneless chicken breasts work best. They cook faster and remain pretty tender after high heat searing. Dark meat works better with longer cooking times.

Flatten your chicken breasts to ensure more even cooking as well as faster cook time. I place my breasts in a ziplock and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet. If you don’t have either, and heavy skillet works just fine.

Crank up the fan, cause there will be smoke!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Blackened Chicken

What To Serve With Blackened Chicken

I pretty much serve anything with my blackened chicken recipe as this dish is very versatile. Try any one of these sides as compliments to the main dish:

Crispy Roasted Okra

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt Sauce

Fried Black-eyed Peas

Southern Collards w/ Smoked Turkey

Zucchini Noodles

What are leftover options for Blackened Chicken?

Blackened chicken is good for about 4 days if kept refrigerated in a sealed container. Feel free to slice up the chicken and serve in a variety of dishes including:

Does Blackened Chicken Taste Burnt?

No not at all despite its dark black color and charred-like appearance. The dark color isn't burnt chicken but in fact, a big-time flavored crust that is created by the combination of high heat, fried spices, and butter.

What does it mean when you blacken meat?

Blackened meat whether it's chicken, fish, or any other meat protein just refers to the cooking technique. It involves highly seasoning the meat with a cajun based spice mix and pan-frying it over high heat typically in a cast iron skillet.

Is blackened chicken spicy?

Blackened chicken can be spicy, but it doesn't have to be. The heat level will depend on whether and how much cayenne you include in your blackened seasoning mix. It's totally a personal taste preference thing.

Is blackened chicken keto?

This recipe for blackened chicken is definitely keto friendly. The key ingredients are chicken breasts and butter plus spices none of which include any sugar.

Are There Any Pre-packaged Store-Bought Blackened Seasoning Products That Are Good?

There are lots of different options for premade blackened seasoning mixes, but I definitely prefer to make my own homemade version. Store-bought ones typically are overly salt heavy so lack real flavor beyond salt. Tony Chachere's is probably the most accessible and can work in a pinch. Besides the salt, it's missing that high quality paprika that makes for a good blackening spice mix.

More Simple and Easy Cajun/Creole Recipes

If you make this quick and delicious blackened chicken dish please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

blackened chicken in cast iron skillet

Blackened Chicken Breasts

Tender chicken breasts seasoned with cajun blackening spices and pan-fried in a cast iron skillet for a delicious and bold flavored quick weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tablespoon Butter melted
  • 2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Onion Powder

Instructions

  • Mix spices together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Place your chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to an even thickness of ½ inch. This will enable you to easily cook your chicken to the desired doneness.
  • Rinse your chicken under running cold water and pat each chicken breast dry with paper towels and set aside.
  • Moisten chicken breast with ½ tablespoon melted butter and then generously apply blackened seasoning mixture on both sides, set aside.
  • Add remaining melted butter to cast iron skillet, and heat on high until skillet is sufficiently hot.
  • Add chicken breasts to the skillet (careful not to overcrowd the skillet), cook for 4 minutes. Turnover and cook for another 3 minutes. The chicken breast is done when its center has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Notes

  • Use a cast iron skillet if available. It retains heat well which helps get the color and texture right. You’ll essentially want a black spicy crust that provides big surface level flavor but also locks in the juiciness of the chicken
  • Blackening season blends vary depending on the cook/chef, however most consist of your typical cajun spices. You can make your own or use your favorite available commercial/store blend. There are some really good pre-made blends out there if you prefer not to make your own. 
  • One of the benefits of making your own seasoning mix is you can dial up/down the heat level. It’s just a matter of how much cayenne pepper you decide to use. Most pre-made are fairly mild.
  • If you have clarified butter or ghee available to you use in place of butter. It has a much higher smoke point. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. Once oil gets past its smoke point it starts to taste burnt!
  • Boneless chicken breasts work best. They cook faster and remain pretty tender after high heat searing. Dark meat works better with longer cooking times.
  • Flatten your chicken breasts to ensure more even cooking as well as faster cook time. I place my breasts in a ziplock and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet. If you don’t have either, and heavy skillet works just fine.
  • Crank up the fan, cause there will be smoke!
  • Blackening season blends vary depending on the cook/chef, however most consist of your typical cajun spices. You can make your own or use your favorite available commercial/store blend. There are some really good pre-made blends out there if you prefer not to make your own. 

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 3596mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1714IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




LaKita

Sunday 19th of December 2021

This blackened chicken looks so juicy, flavorful, and delicious! Will definitely be giving it a try soon.

Liz

Sunday 19th of December 2021

Blackened chicken is one of my go-to easy recipes too! I've never tried baking it in a cast iron skillet though! What a great idea!

Linda

Friday 17th of December 2021

Love this chicken! It's so delicious and can be ready in less than 15 minutess.

veenaazmanov

Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Loved the name of your dish and loved every spice used to make this flavorful Side dish. Looks so juicy and tempting.

susan | the wimpy vegetarian

Wednesday 15th of December 2021

I love blackened almost anything! I love your spice combo, and want to make it for this chicken and also fish for tacos! Thanks!