The Combination Cooking Method For Foolproof Crust On Chicken

Known as the most consumed type of meat around the globe in 2021, according to Statistica, poultry is not only prepared in many different countries, but in numerous unique ways. From fried chicken to chicken noodle soup, to poached chicken and chicken seared it in a skillet, this is one versatile cut of meat. In fact, it's become such a staple and go-to for those looking to consume meat on the leaner side, that it now comes in sausage links and burger patties.

While there are lots of ways to prepare chicken, it can be quite daunting learning how to achieve the perfect texture. It's easy to overcook it, and if you don't cook it completely, you can make yourself sick. While dark meat provides more flavor due to its higher fat content, chicken breasts are much leaner, meaning they need a bit more help in both the flavor and texture department. 

Food52 set out to test chicken breasts cooked in different ways and found one method worked best when it came to creating the best crust.


While searing a chicken breast in a skillet on the stove gives a beautiful golden crust, sometimes searing doesn't cook it all the way through. According to Food52, the most successful test they conducted for creating that perfect crust was through first searing a chicken breast in a cast iron skillet, and then transferring the chicken, skillet and all, into the oven to finish cooking. This technique allows the chicken to be cooked to perfection, seeing that you're probing it periodically until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, while still creating a brown crust.

According to 101 Cooking for Two, this technique achieves optimal texture, whereas baking the chicken will not. A cast iron skillet is crucial, because while it is heat-proof enough to handle high oven temperatures, it also distributes heat evenly and is non-stick, seeing that you season it regularly. If you don't own a cast iron, simply sear the chicken in a pan, then transfer the chicken to an oven-safe pan or sheet pan when finishing in the oven.