This reverse sear chicken breast recipe is a new way to create that classic crispy chicken skin that we all love on our chicken with juicy, flavorful chicken breast meat inside.
I love making chicken breasts using this method. It keeps the chicken moist and tender, and it makes the skin just lusciously crispy.
Reverse searing means you cook the chicken meat first at a lower temperature until perfectly cooked and then finish it with a hot sear that turns your skin crispy and golden brown on a skillet, under a broiler or on a grill.
Reverse Sear Chicken
You’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this easy reverse seared chicken breast recipe.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- Sea or kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
This recipe only requires a few simple steps to make.
Step 1: Prep
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Then line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and a rack lightly coated in nonstick spray.
Step 2: Separate the Chicken Skin
Gently use your finger to separate the skin from the breast, leaving the edges of the skin attached to the breast on one side. Then, lift the skin like opening a door.
Step 3: Salt the Chicken
Sprinkle salt evenly over the surface of the chicken breast, not the skin. Then, place the skin back over the breast.
Step 4: Pierce the Skin
Using the tip of a sharp knife and being careful not to pierce the breast, poke 6 to 10 small holes in the skin.
Step 5: Bake
Place the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet and bake between 35 to 45 minutes until the internal temperature of the breasts registers 165 degrees.
Step 6: Reverse Sear the Chicken
Heat your largest skillet on the stovetop for 5 minutes on low. Then, cover the entire bottom of the skillet with oil and add the chicken breasts skin side down.
Next, increase the heat to medium-high. Leave the chicken breasts in place for 3 minutes, watching for the skin to darken and crisp.
Finally, after 3 to 5 minutes, lean each chicken breast to the side of the skillet with the thickest part of the breast on the bottom of the skillet. Cook for another couple of minutes until the skin is brown and crispy.
Step 7: Rest and Serve
Transfer the chicken to a plate and let the breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Hint: Always let your chicken rest so the juices can be reabsorbed by the meat.
Don’t have the correct ingredients on hand or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this reverse sear chicken breast.
- Chicken Thighs – You can use this method for chicken thighs as well.
- Your Favorite Oil – You can use any oil with a high smoke point.
Want to personalize this reverse sear chicken breast recipe? Here are some of my tried and true tips for changing up this recipe.
- Spicy – Add red pepper flakes under the skin for a kick of heat.
- Your Favorite Spices – You can add a ton of flavor to this recipe by adding your favorite spices under the skin.
If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy these crispy baked chicken thighs.
You’ll only need a handful of items to make this recipe.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Cooking rack
This chicken can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
I have a couple of simple tips here to help you make these breasts the best they can possibly be.
- Be sure to leave one side of the skin attached so it remains on the chicken throughout the cooking process.
- When piercing the skin, be sure not to pierce the breasts.
Do you have questions about this reverse sear chicken breast recipe? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about reverse sear chicken breast
Reverse searing is the opposite of searing. It cooks the meat slowly and indirectly first and then is finished with high direct heat from broiler, grill or skillet.
Reverse searing allows for consistent doneness with crispy skin, in the case of chicken.
It will last for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Reverse Sear Chicken Breast Video
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Reverse Sear Chicken Breast
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Reverse Sear Chicken Breast
- large oven safe skillet
- rimmed baking sheet
- 4 8-12 oz chicken breasts bone in skin on
- 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or another oil
- Adjust your oven rack to the bottom middle position and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and a rack lightly coated in cooking spray. Set aside.
- Working with one chicken breast at a time, use your finger to carefully seperate the chicken skin from the meat or flesh. Leave skin edges attached to the chicken breast. Lift the skin like it's an open door.
- Using your fingers pinch some salt or using a salt shaker sprinkle some sea or kosher salt, as evenly as possible, all over the surface of the chicken. NOT the chicken skin. Once salted, place your skin back on top of your chicken breast. As my husband says you close the door!
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, skewer or something else that's sharp, poke at least 6 small holes through the skin.
- Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, up to 10 or 11 holes.
- Place all of the chicken breasts on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until the chicken has an internal temperature that registers 165 degrees F, somewhere between 35 and 45 minutes.
- Next, grab your largest skillet. I'm hoping it will hold all of your chicken breasts at the same time, all skin side down. Preheat your skillet for a few minutes on medium.
- Add all the oil and make sure there is oil covering the bottom of your skillet. Add chicken breasts, skin side down. Increase your heat to medium high. Do not move your chicken for the first three minutes. Keep watching for the skin to color and crisp up. No more than 5 minutes.
- Lean and adjust each chicken breast to the sides and bottom of your skillet. You want to try to touch all of the skin to the pan, at different times. Cook until skin is golden brown and crispy, another couple minutes at the most.
- Allow chicken breasts to rest on a plate, rack or cutting board for 5 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy every delicious bite!