These blackened chicken thighs are seasoned with a punchy homemade blend of spices, then seared to golden-brown perfection. They’re bursting with juice and SO flavorful!
What Is Blackened Chicken?
Blackened chicken refers to a method of cooking seasoned chicken until it becomes dark in color. The seasoning adds a spicy, savory, and smoky flavor, while the chicken remains tender and juicy inside. Contrary to popular opinion, blackened doesn’t mean burnt — it simply implies that the seasoning develops more flavor and color than normal.
How To Make Blackened Chicken
Gather your ingredients and heat up the skillet — this blackened chicken comes together in just over 15 minutes. You’ll be shocked by the simplicity of this recipe!
- Make the seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together all the spices.
- Season the chicken: Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then rub the seasoning in.
- Cook the chicken: Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Once sizzling hot, turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken thighs. Cook for about 5-6 minutes. Flip the thighs over and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Serve the chicken: Remove the thighs from the pan, then allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Hot tip: If you don’t feel like making your own seasoning, buy a blackened seasoning blend (also called Cajun seasoning)!
Tips for the Best Blackened Chicken
Are you ready to bite into the juiciest, most flavorful blackened chicken thighs? Follow these four tips to fall in love with this recipe.
- Use a cast iron skillet. Cast iron is extremely efficient at retaining heat, which helps to sear the chicken properly. The outside of the chicken gets crispy, while the inside stays juicy. Here is my favorite cast iron pan!
- Preheat the skillet. A ripping hot pan produces the best golden-brown crust on the chicken thighs.
- Check doneness with a meat thermometer. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F for perfectly cooked chicken. Insert the probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat for the most accurate reading.
- Make this recipe your own. Do you love crispy chicken skin? Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs — keep in mind that they will take longer to cook than boneless thighs. Or, use chicken breasts for a leaner protein. If you’re a flavor fanatic, tweak the seasoning ratios to your taste. Add more cayenne, dried herbs like thyme, or more salt or pepper for a flavor boost.
Ways To Serve
Blackened chicken pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes — whether you pack it for lunch or whip it up for dinner. For carb-lovers, serve the chicken with a side of mashed potatoes, creamy one-pot pasta, or rice. Get your veggies in with Parmesan panko roasted vegetables and grilled zucchini and squash. Or, freshen things up with a light salad — try a cabbage cucumber salad or classic garden salad, or top a caesar salad with this addictingly delicious chicken.
Storage & Reheating
If you made it this far, consider yourself lucky to have leftovers. This blackened chicken stores well and tastes just as delicious when reheated!
- Refrigerator: To store for up to three days, place the leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Freezer: To store for up to three months, transfer the leftover chicken thighs to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. Thaw the chicken overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating: For the juiciest leftovers, reheat the blackened chicken in the oven at 400°F for about 15 minutes. Place the chicken directly on a wire rack to ensure even heating. Or, pop it in the air fryer or microwave if you’re short on time.
More Chicken Recipes
- 5-Minute Grilled Chicken Thighs — Simple grilled chicken with a secret ingredient
- Garlic Parmesan Wings — Baked chicken wings drizzled with garlic butter
- Honey Chicken Skewers — Juicy chicken skewers with an amazing burst of flavor
- Huli Huli Chicken — Chicken thighs marinated in a soy sauce/pineapple juice blend
- Slow Cooker Crack Chicken — Creamy, cheesy chicken with ranch seasoning and bacon
- Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Rub the seasoning into the chicken until evenly coated.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Once sizzling hot, turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken thighs. Cook for about 5-6 minutes.
- Flip the thighs over and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the thighs from the skillet, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!