| | |

How to Season Chicken (Seasoning Chicken Breast)

How to season chicken is a lesson everyone should know how to do! The perfect seasoning blend makes the best chicken breast recipe. 

how to season chicken

If you’re wondering how to season chicken, and you’re intimidated by all the spices, seasoning blends, and everything in between, this post is for you!

​This chicken recipe tutorial walks you through several ways to season boneless chicken breasts, a whole chicken, or any cut of chicken.

You’ll learn the best products to look for in the grocery store, and how keeping these simple seasoning blends on hand will make your chicken recipes absolute perfection!

How to Season Chicken

seasoning chicken

​First, let’s chat about all the individual spices and herbs you can have that are a good seasoning for chicken dishes.

This post contains affiliate links.

Garlic Powder — this is a tried, true, and usual suspect. It’s one of the four ingredients in my House Seasoning. It’s definitely a go-to flavor booster for any chicken dish.

Onion Powder — Always a hit! Especially if you don’t like “live” onions in your dish, sprinkle this over your chicken to get that full flavor. Also, onion powder is another one of the four ingredients in my House Seasoning. 

Black Pepper — I love grinding black pepper into everything. For me though, it’s more of a finishing seasoning technique. Sometimes, when you grind pepper and cook it, it can have a burned taste. You can avoid this by cracking the pepper at the end or using pre-ground pepper in your blend.

Kosher Salt — Always, always, always salt your chicken. If you’ve ever had chicken that tasted like it was missing something, it was probably just a smidge more salt. 

house seasoning

The four above are what I blend together to use as my “House Seasoning.” Just a little jar filled with these, that I sprinkle over everything that needs it! It’s way easier than opening all four of those containers! This is a great all purpose chicken seasoning. If you love meal-prepping chicken for the week, this is the way to go!

A sprinkle of House Seasoning, and you’re good to go!

Other Spices and Herbs that Season Chicken Well

Cayenne Pepper — People see the word pepper and think SPICY! You would be correct if you use it in large heaps. Add just a pinch to almost anything you make and you’ll quickly notice a brightening of flavors. It’s a red pepper that is ground into a fine powder, and just a pinch will add so much flavor to your recipe. 

​Oregano — this is great for adding to anything with Italian flair. Your spaghetti sauce, Chicken Parmesan, seasoning chicken cutlets. It’s even one of the main ingredients in Pulled Pork Chalupa!

creole seasoned chicken breasts

Chipotle Powder — if you’re looking for a spicy, lasting heat for your chicken, this is what you should use. It’s got a real smoky note, and the powder is really nice to use for a taco seasoning, or on pulled pork tacos.

Chili Powder — this one isn’t so pronounced. But, once you sprinkle it over your chicken with a couple of other seasonings you’ll see why it’s a favorite of many! Add a little lime juice to the mix and your chicken tacos just became a family favorite. 

Seasoning Blends for Chicken

An extremely economical way of seasoning chicken is to purchase blended seasoning.

They’ve done the work for you! Curated what flavors pair well, and put them in the spice mix. It’s the perfect blend of spices, ready for you to shake, rattle, and roll!

​When you’re in the grocery store’s spice section there are lots of seasoning mix combinations. 

The favorites that I keep in my pantry at all times are these, the ones you can find in almost any grocery store:

montreal steak seasoning

Montreal Steak Seasoning — while the bottle says it’s meant for steak, I love using it on chicken. It’s one of the main stars of this Steak Marinated Chicken recipe, and you’ll love it as much as I do when you make it.

Montreal Chicken Seasoning — McCormick does offer a variation curated for chicken. I don’t reach for it as often, but it’s got great flavor. It’s really delicious on broccoli!

smokehouse maple seasoning from mccormick grillmates

Smokehouse Maple Seasoning — I flipping LOVE the seasoning blend. It’s sweet, smoky, and just the best seasoning rub for chicken, pork chops, or even shrimp; like in this Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits. Mixed with a little Worcestershire sauce, you have the perfect marinade that packs flavor into every bite. 

Other Seasoning Blend Ideas

​Anything from Spicewalla! They have blends that will help you make the most amazing chicken, every single time. The blends I can’t live without are the Blackened Seasoning, Creole, and the full Tpain + Spicewalla Wing Collection

creole seasoning from spicewalla

Rub a whole chicken down with the creole seasoning, and you’ve got a tasty start to Sunday dinner.

pink peppercorn lemon thyme seasoning from spiceology

I am LOVING this Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme blend from Spiceology. It’s the first lemon pepper seasoning I’ve had that doesn’t taste manufactured. It actually tastes like lemon zest and peppercorns. Delightful.

special shit seasoning from big cock ranch

Special Shit. This all-purpose meat seasoning blend from Big Cock Ranch is just what you need in your cabinet. It’s got brown sugar, spices, herbs, and a meat tenderizer. It’s got it all! And, you can use it on everything.

special shit marinated chicken

I mixed this seasoning with Worcestershire sauce in a container, and let my chicken hang out overnight in the fridge. Every few hours, or anytime I opened the fridge, I would give the container a jiggle to keep it evenly coated.

Different Ways to Season Chicken

Now, for the actual action of seasoning your chicken, you’ve got a few options.

First, you can just sprinkle one of your homemade spice blends on top of the chicken and let it hang out.

You could create a juicy chicken marinade by mixing together the seasoning and olive oil. Pour this over your chicken and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

I love adding a seasoning blend with a little oil to a plastic bag, then putting boneless skinless chicken thighs in. Close her tightly, disperse the seasoning all over the chicken, and freeze for later use! It’s the best way to get flavorful chicken while helping yourself prepare for the next time you are making dinner, or for a busy season ahead of you. 

marinating chicken in seasoning

Once your chicken is seasoned and you’re going to grill it or cook it in a large skillet here are a few ways to add even more flavor:

​When your chicken is almost cooked through, brush it with a little melted butter or olive oil to keep your chicken tender and juicy.

If you’re wanting a BBQ chicken, swipe some barbecue sauce over your chicken when it’s almost done cooking. I suggest you use the Smokehouse Maple Seasoning plus some Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce. It’s incredible!

Cooking Chicken to Perfection

​We’ve covered how to season your chicken and ways you can add flavor.

​Let’s make sure your chicken is tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked every single time.

A few tools you can invest in for cooking chicken is a good meat thermometer. I love using my Meater to help me grill up the most tender chicken, ever! A meat mallet is nice for when you have chicken breasts that are uneven and need to be pounded to an even thickness. 

​Lay your chicken on a plastic wrap-covered board, and cover it in another layer of plastic wrap. Use the meat mallet to pound the thickest part of the breast to an even layer. This will help your chicken cook evenly, whether you are grilling, roasting, pan-searing, or frying. 

grilling seasoned chicken

Try not to flip your chicken over and over. Lay it down on the hot grill grates or skillet, and let it be. Don’t touch it!

Once the proteins coagulate they will release easily from the grill or pan. If you are worried about sticking you can use a paper towel to oil up the grates of your grill! 

Cook your chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you’re cooking chicken thighs or dark meat of the chicken, go for 175-185 degrees. This is the secret temperature to get the most tender chicken thighs.

grilled chicken resting

Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes depending on what cut of chicken you’re using. If you’ve roasted a whole chicken, let it rest for a good 15 minutes before carving. As the chicken rests, the juices are distributed back into the meat.

If you cut into chicken right after you cook it, you’ll end up with dry chicken that is hard to eat. It needs those few minutes to relax and recuperate after a stressful cooking situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What spices go well with chicken?

It’s all personal preference. Some people say light and bright seasoning work well for chicken. Like, lemon, garlic, and thyme. But, you can also do a smoky and spicy flavor profile.

How do you season chicken properly?

Brush the chicken with oil or something to help the seasoning stick to it. Then, generously sprinkle or measure a seasoning blend onto all sides of the chicken.

Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftover grilled chicken makes great chicken salad, with endless recipe ideas!

Here are 27 Leftover Grilled Chicken Recipes for inspiration!

Save this to your favorite Chicken Board on Pinterest!

how to season chicken

Similar Posts