Learn how to brown chicken with this step by step directions with pictures. Browning chicken is easy, quick, and simple taking less than 5 minutes to do.
Does seeing “brown chicken” listed as a step in a recipe automatically make you want to sigh or roll your eyes? Some people skip this step altogether, while others follow it but can never seem to get it quite right. If either of these describes how you feel about browning chicken, fear not! This step-by-step will show you how to brown chicken breast, thighs, and any other chicken part so you can get juicy, flavorful browned chicken every single time.
How To Brown Chicken (Browning Chicken)
How to brown chicken! Browning chicken is a vital step in some cooking processes. By taking the time to brown it (and do it correctly) you lock in flavor, give a crisp texture to the outside, and retain moisture inside of the meat. It might add a few minutes to your total cooking time, but the end result is so worth it.
Browning chicken just means that you sear it on both sides for just a few minutes. The exterior will take on a golden brown color and get crisp, but the inside is not thoroughly cooked yet.
The ingredients you need are probably things that you already have in your pantry. Any cooking oil of your choice will work, and any seasonings of your choice. Don't forget salt!
How To Brown Chicken In Pan
One of the fastest ways to brown chicken is by browning it in a pan on top of the stove. You really want to make sure you use a pan that can retain heat well to avoid the temperature dropping once the chicken is added in. I recommend a cast iron skillet or a nonstick pan, but any stovetop safe pan will do the job!
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then sprinkle the seasoning all over it making sure all the sides are seasoned.
Preheat the pan. Do this by turning the burner up to medium or medium-high heat then place the pan on it. Once the pan has heated up, add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil and allow it to heat.
Once the oil is ready, add in the seasoned chicken. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan! Putting too much chicken in can prevent the chicken from browning properly.
Brown chicken on that side for about 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches the desired golden-brown color. Then, gently flip it over and brown the other side for 2-3 minutes or until browned.
There you have it! Perfectly browned chicken in just minutes. Once it is browned, you can continue the cooking process however it is called for in your recipe.
How To Brown Chicken In Oven
Browning the chicken in the oven using the roasting method is a great technique to use whenever you are multitasking in the kitchen. This frees up your stovetop, at least for a few minutes. Instead of adding your oil to the oven safe pan, you will rub the oil directly onto the chicken. I recommend seasoning the chicken first and then coating the seasoned chicken with oil.
To get your oven ready, set it to broil and let it preheat for a few minutes. When the oven is hot, place the chicken in the pan inside of the oven. You might need to move your oven rack up in order to get it closer to the broiler. After a few minutes (time will vary by oven) you should see the chicken developing that golden-brown color. Once this happens, flip the chicken over to the other side and let that side brown.
How To Brown Chicken Thighs
How to brown chicken thighs might seem intimidating at first, but it is actually very easy! Browning chicken thighs lock in flavor.
Pan searing is the best method to use to brown chicken thighs.
Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry.
Season them with any seasoning of your choice.
A cast iron skillet, or a nonstick pan, is the best pan to use to brown chicken thighs. Place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Once you have seasoned the chicken thighs, add the oil into the skillet and allow it to heat up. Next, you will add your seasoned chicken to the pan with the smooth side down. When the chicken has turned brown and is not sticking to the skillet any longer, you can flip it over and repeat the process for the other side.
How To Brown Chicken Breast
Browning chicken breast is a great way to add a burst of flavor. Who said chicken breasts have to be bland and boring? You can brown chicken breast by using either the stovetop method or oven method discussed above.
Browning chicken breasts is essential in capturing moisture. Since boneless, skinless chicken breasts are so lean, they tend to dry out during the cooking process. By browning them first, you lock in those juices while encrusting the chicken with flavor.
How Long To Brown Chicken
The time it takes to brown chicken will vary greatly depending on if it is browned in the oven or on the stovetop.
As a general rule of thumb, the chicken is considered brown once it takes on a golden-brown color and has developed a crust on the outside. When searing chicken in a pan to brown it, you can tell when it is browned because it will be easy to flip over. If it is not browned yet, it will stick to the pan.
Typically, how long to brown chicken on the stovetop is 2-4 minutes on medium heat. This is 1-2 minutes per side. This is based on the pan being heated before adding the chicken.
It is important to remember that just because the chicken is browned does not mean that it is completely cooked. Usually, you will still need to reduce the heat and continue cooking the chicken longer to get it cooked all the way through. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165F/75C to be considered safe to eat.
Tips For Browning Chicken
- The pan should be heated before adding chicken
- Don't move the chicken until it's ready to flip them to cook the other side.
- Browned chicken doesn't mean they are cooked. Make sure you continue to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165F/75C.
- After cooking the chicken, let them rest for a few minutes before cutting them.
Yes, you need to heat up the pan first, then add in the oil, and add the chicken when the oil is heated.
To continue cooking the chicken after it has been browned on the outside, simply reduce the heat and continue cooking the meat until the inside temperature has reached 165F. You can also add broth, sauce, or gravy to cook the chicken after it has been browned.
No! If you prefer to keep the skin on, you can still brown your chicken thighs. The steps are the same as above, and you still want to make sure that you pat the skin dry before putting the thighs into the pan.
Neutral oils with a high smoke point work best. These are oils like peanut oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil. Olive oil will also work.
More Chicken Recipes
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How To Brown Chicken
- 2 Chicken
- 1 teaspoon Seasoning
- 1-2 tablespoons Oil
- Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry.
- Season them with any seasoning of your choice.
- A cast iron skillet, or a nonstick pan, is the best pan to use to brown chicken thighs. Place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil to the skillet and allow it to heat up.
- Add the seasoned chicken to the pan When the chicken has turned brown and is not sticking to the skillet any longer, flip it over and repeat the process for the other side.
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