Are you a fan of protein-rich foods that are not only tasty but also easy to make? Well, you should try blackened chicken. It’s made with various herbs and spices that give it a tasty blend of flavors with a charred kick.

The choice of meat for this dish is chicken breasts, which most people know as the healthiest part of the chicken. The meat may be bland in taste, but when cooked with proper seasonings, the chicken transforms into a delightful dish.

You may have noticed blackened chicken in menus in restaurants, and you might think it’s hard to recreate at home. Well, that assumption is wrong. You can certainly make the scrumptious meal in your kitchen with just 15 minutes of cook time. According to Christina Musgrave, recipe creator and blogger at Tasting with Tina, blackened chicken is "definitely beginner-level" cooking. Hence, even if you’re not an experienced cook, you can certainly cook this dish.

"This tastes like restaurant-style blackened chicken. It’s charred on the outside, juicy on the inside, and has a hint of spice," says Musgrave. "The dish can be used on salads, in wraps, or with vegetables and rice. It’s a great basic recipe that can last all week."

Now, let’s get started on making this treat right at home.

Gather your ingredients to make blackened chicken

To make the hearty dish, you’ll need Italian dressing, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken breasts, and butter. Making the blackened chicken doesn’t cost much as most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen. For the other things that you don’t have at home, you can easily find them at the grocery store. However, you don’t have to stick to all of the items on the list, as this dish can be made with other seasonings. "You can substitute other spices if you prefer," says recipe creator Christina Musgrave.

Prep your protein for blackened chicken

Before you start cooking, it’s better to gather your ingredients on the kitchen counter and measure them to the needed amount — in doing so, you can save a lot of time and make the process easier.

Also, make sure to thaw the chicken breasts if they’re frozen (here’s why we don’t really recommend a microwave to do so), as you wouldn’t want to add spices to frozen meat as it won’t absorb the seasonings. Another important thing to note is that you will need to marinate the chicken for this recipe. So keep in mind that you will need additional time for marinating when considering the prep.

Combine ingredients to make the blackened chicken marinade

When you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to make the marinade. In a mixing bowl, combine Italian dressing, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Grab your chicken breasts and place them in a baking dish or a plastic bag. Next, pour the marinade mixture into the chicken, then pop the baking dish inside the fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes. You can also leave the chicken to marinate for one da if you want more flavor. That said, you can prepare your marinated chicken a day before so that you’ll only focus on cooking it the next day.

Preheat the oven and cook the marinated chicken on a skillet

The time has come to cook your marinated chicken breasts. But before doing so, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. And prior to baking, you will need to pre-cook your chicken on a pan. Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter turns to liquid, quickly add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for two minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another two minutes.

Bake the blackened chicken

When you’re done with the pre-cooking step, transfer the cast iron skillet and place it inside your oven. Let the chicken bake for at least 10 minutes or until the juices run clear and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It might help to have a meat thermometer ready to check the internal temperature after the cooking time is up. When cooked, serve immediately and enjoy!