Apr 042011
I have to admit, I’m guilty of overcomplicated-recipe

 making.  Recipes that require you to go out and buy random, expensive ingredients like bulgar, forbidden rice, or tahini to name a few.  Sometimes you just want something basic, versatile, quick, and cheap.  Well, if you have some chicken breasts and a well stocked spice rack then you’re all set for this recipe.  I know, crazy.  
The flavorful blackening mixture is paprika, thyme, cumin, oregano, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), onion powders, salt, black and cayenne pepper.  Or you can buy a prefab blackening spice mix–I don’t judge.  

Rub that mixture all over your chicken breasts and spray a very hot grill with olive oil spray.  That’s literally all the fat added to this chicken.  Not bad.

And let it grill.  Try not to move your chicken breasts until they’re ready to be flipped for maximum grill linage.

You can also create this fancy criss-cross design if you want to be really fancy.  

Now that you have perfect spicy blackened chicken, you can do almost anything with it!  I made a salad with some mango and avocado slices.  You could also use it in sandwiches, wraps, or just eat it straight up with some veggies or rice.  When you start with something really simple, you can be creative with how to use it.  

Nutritional highlights:  I know I’ve been putting up a lot of vegetarian recipes lately, but I think lean protein like organic chicken breasts are great in moderation.  This chicken has a spice rub rather than a marinade so you cut out a ton of fat that would usually be in your marinade.  I can’t promise it’s true, but I’ve read that spicy food helps speed up the metabolism and help you burn more calories.  Also, remember that a serving of meat is 3 oz (about the size of a deck of cards) so just because an 8 oz chicken breast looks like “1” item, you aren’t required to eat it all at once :)

Blackened Chicken Breasts


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika, dried thyme, cumin, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper depending on how much hot you can handle

Mix all your spices together and coat your chicken breasts with the mixture (just so you have a light coating, you don’t have to use it all).  Heat a grill pan on high.  Spray with olive oil or cooking spray and put chicken breasts on at a diagonal.  After about 2-3 minutes, turn chicken (not flip) to the opposite diagonal to create the X pattern on my chicken and let sit another 2-3 minutes.  Spray the top of the chicken breasts and flip.  Repeat on the other side until chicken has had about 10 minutes of cooking time.  Time varies based on the size of your chicken–you know it’s done when you press the thickest portion and it feels pretty solid (or you can cut into it).  

Enjoy your versatile chicken in salads, sandwiches, or any other way you can think to use um!

  5 Responses to “Back to Basics: Blackened Grilled Chicken Breast”

  1. This looks so great! I adore blackened chicken:) love the little reminder about 3 oz. It is so easy to forget!

  2. This was absolutely delicious, definitely will make this again! Personally, I like to flatten my chicken out a fair bit, it makes for a great texture, and this just added to it.

  3. Thanks for a great healthy low fat recipe
    Low Fat, Easy weight loss tips

  4. Made this today for dinner and it was so tasty. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for the recipe. I made this yesterday and grilled the chicken my geore foreman grill. So tasty!!

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