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How To Cook Chicken Pieces in a Pan

Have you ever cooked chicken pieces for a casserole or other dish only to have some of the pieces turn out dry, chewy and barely edible while others seemed hardly cooked at all? That’s why my friend asked me about this main dish and today I’m sharing with you how to cook chicken pieces in a pan.

A photo of the cooked chicken in the pan

How To Cook Chicken Pieces in a Pan for PERFECT Chicken Every Time!

Everyone wants tender, soft, juicy chicken pieces for their recipes and there is no one in the world who enjoys dry, chewy and nearly undigestible chicken!

Today we will review how to cook chicken pieces to the point of perfection so that you’ll be commanding your kitchen like a rockstar in no time at all!

When You Cook Diced Chicken In A Pan…

Color – You’ll have some slight color to your chicken.

Seasoning – There will be layers of seasoning to make it taste perfectly.

Juicy – The chicken will be done and juicy!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Boneless Chicken – for beginner cooks, I recommend starting with boneless skinless chicken thighs. They are much more forgiving than the white meat cuts, but you’ll need to choose what is right for your recipe.
  • Non Stick Skillet – Personally, I like to use cast iron, but you may have a favorite non-stick skillet.
  • Spatula – I usually prefer a wooden spoon or a thin metal spatula.
  • Stovetop – A heating eye that you have control over the heat.
  • Oil – Vegetable oil is preferred for the beginner (forgiving with temperature control), but any cooking oil will work as will butter or bacon grease.
  • Salt and Pepper or Other Seasonings

Here’s A Step By Step Guide for Perfect Pan Cooked Chicken Every Time

  • chicken breast being cut in half with chefs knife
  • A photo of oil heating in the pan for Tomato Pie
  • A photo of the chicken cooking in the pan
  • A photo of the cooked chicken in the pan

Key Steps

  1. Cut the Chicken into Similar Sizes First.
  2. Preheat the Skillet
  3. Add the Chicken Pieces so That They Have Space Between Them.
  4. Allow to Brown on One Side Then Flip.
  5. Remove when Cooked Through and Add Remainder of The Chicken.

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Tips and Tricks For Perfect Chicken

  • Always cut all of the chicken up first before adding any to the pan. It’s easy to think, “I’ll just throw it in the pan as I cut so that I avoid any extra mess”, but the truth is that this will cause some chicken to be overcooked while some will barely get done at all.
  • Preheat your pan before starting. It’s a common myth that you can just put your food into a cold pan and allow it to heat with the food. This will cause uneven cooking of the meat and a poor result with no browning.
  • Use the smallest amount of oil necessary. If you are using a non stick pan, you will need very little oil, if any at all. Don’t use more than 1 tbs on your non stick surface.
  • This recipe is best done with a non stick skillet. I prefer to use cast iron which is non stick if seasoned correctly. You’ll find that as a beginner cook, stainless will want to stick until you are really practiced with using it.
  • Season the meat by sprinkling with your fingers from up fairly high. You do this so that the seasoning spreads out well and has an even coating.
  • Allow the meat to cook for a bit on one side before stirring. This allows the browning to develop (which adds flavor!).

PRO TIP: If you want to make sure that your chicken is perfect every single time, you’ll want to invest in a quick read thermometer. I use and recommend the Thermoworks series. The chicken is done at 165 degrees! Perfect every single time!

If You Enjoyed This Chicken Dish, You Might Also Enjoy….

Watch Me Make This Dish

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A photo of the cooked chicken in the pan

How To Cook Chicken Pieces in a Pan

Delicious, easy, perfectly cooked chicken pieces in a pan every single time!
4 from 4 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook chicken pieces in a pan
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 317kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless, can use other cuts of the chicken as well.
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the chicken into like size pieces. Preheat a non stick skillet (I recommend a well seasoned cast iron) over medium heat on the stovetop and add 1 Tbs vegetable oil.
  • When the pan is hot, add the chicken all at once and spread out so that it is in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan. If there is not enough room, cook half, remove it from the pan and then add the other half.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Saute till just past pink.
  • Remove from the pan and use for your dish.


  • Make sure the chicken is cut into similar size pieces so that it cooks at the same rate. 
  • Add only a small amount of oil to the pan. 
  • Add the chicken all at once so that it cooks at the same rate. 
  • Once the chicken is in the pan and spread out, leave it alone so that it can develop color on the side that is cooking. 
  • If you will be using the chicken in another recipe that involves cooking it further, consider cooking less in the frying pan. 
  • OK to substitute olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil or any oil that you prefer to cook with. 


Nutrition Facts
How To Cook Chicken Pieces in a Pan
Amount Per Serving (0.5 lb)
Calories 317 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 263mg11%
Potassium 839mg24%
Protein 48g96%
Vitamin A 68IU1%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A Verse To Share

I’ve been studying on something for a few weeks and I wanted to share. I’m wondering about this passage.

I’ve got more studying to do.

Since childhood I have phrased this as “He died for my sins”, meaning that there was a debt to be paid, i.e. my own death for my own sins and that Jesus himself took that away by dying on the cross.

But here in 1 Peter 2, we find that “He bore our sins in his body” so that we might die to sin (turn away from it) and live righteously. That’s kind of a different concept. I’m going to think on it some more, but here is a verse on that topic. I recommend reading the entire passage.

1 Peter 2:24

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating

Brandileigha Stracner

Monday 14th of March 2022

Love this! Simple and perfect.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 15th of March 2022

Glad you enjoyed!


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Easy to follow- thanks for all the tips- chicken came out great!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 11th of October 2021

Thanks Sarah!


Sunday 1st of August 2021

I’m cooking chicken by myself for the first time today. These instructions are really helpful. This is a simple task for a lot of cooks and they don’t explain how to do it. I needed it broken down step by step like this. Thank you!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 2nd of August 2021

I'm so glad you found it useful!


Saturday 17th of April 2021

Didn't even tell us the temperature to heat the pan on lol

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Thanks Joe for letting me know, I appreciate it. I went in and added "over medium heat on the stovetop". I make mistakes sometimes too and unfortunately, every mistake I make is visible to the entire world the moment I hit "publish". I strive not to make many, but this time, I missed the mark by leaving that part off. I hope it wasn't too much of an inconvenience for you. Peace and Blessings to you.

Wendi J Spraker

Monday 16th of November 2020

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