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Juicy Pan Roasted Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts

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Bone-in split chicken breasts yield the best results when you want a roast chicken dinner! They’re easy to prepare, tender, juicy and delicious!

Roasted skin-on chicken breast with lemon butter pan sauce.
This recipe is part of the cozy mystery cooking club series.

An Easy, Dinner Party Worthy Chicken Recipe 

We eat a lot of chicken around here, usually in the form of boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs. They’re quick and easy to sauté, grill or bake on the average weeknight. 

But, so is this recipe! There’s something about these bone-in chicken breasts that remind me of a roast chicken dinner at a nice restaurant. With a golden crispy skin, a simple blend of seasonings, and the easiest pan sauce, this recipe has delicious flavor and is great for any night of the week AND for serving to dinner party guests. 

I think James Henry and his supper club, carb-cutting friends from Carbs & Cadavers by J.B. Stanley (aka Ellery Adams) would totally approve of this recipe. After all, it’s inspired by the herb-roasted boneless chicken breasts the friends enjoyed in chapter 8 of this Cozy Mystery Cooking Club pick. 

Roasted bone-in chicken breasts on a platter with lemon wedges and herbs.

Split Chicken Breast Recipe Ingredients

  • Split chicken breasts – bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves. Two halves make a whole chicken breast, or the complete front of a chicken.
  • Spices – kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper
  • Olive oil – just a little olive oil to help the skin brown.
  • Lemon juice – used to deglaze the pan after roasting.
  • Unsalted butter – is melted into the lemon juice to create a delicious sauce.
  • Fresh herbs – rosemary and parsley give the sauce and chicken extra flavor.
Raw ingredients for making roasted chicken breasts with spices and herbs.

Why Skin-On Split Chicken Breasts?

  • The bone and skin help provide great flavor and juicy meat. While it takes just a bit longer to roast bone-in chicken, it will cook more evenly as the bone helps distribute heat along the length of the breast. 
  • The skin shields the meat from direct heat and has small amounts of fat that render during cooking – both of these help the meat retain moisture. If you prefer to enjoy your chicken without skin, feel free to discard the skin after roasting. (If you do this, use the seasoning mix between the skin and meat.)
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts are also less expensive than skinless, boneless breasts.  

How to Cook Split Chicken Breasts

  1. Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Create a pocket between the skin and meat without removing the skin. Season the meat with kosher salt, then replace the skin. Rub the skin with olive oil.
  3. Sear the chicken, skin side down, in an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat until it turns golden brown. Season both sides of the chicken with the reserved spice blend.
  4. Roast the chicken, skin side up, in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest part of the breast meat.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. 
  6. Place the skillet over low heat and add the lemon juice, scraping the pan to release any flavorful bits. Add the butter and herbs and stir to melt. Taste and season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve it on the side.

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • Prepping the chicken – remove chicken breasts from your refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Trim away extra skin and fat from the ends and edges of the meat. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season between the skin and meat, then allow the meat to rest at room temperature until the 30 minutes is up to take the chill off. 
  • Oven-safe pan – I love using my cast iron skillet for pan roasting; a stainless steel pan works, too. If you don’t have a skillet that can go from stove top to oven, transfer the breasts to a roasting pan or large baking dish. After roasting, scrape accumulated juices from the dish back into a skillet to make your pan sauce.
  • Cooking time – cook the chicken just until it reaches that internal temp of 165°F so it does not over cook. If your oven runs hot, check the temperature of the chicken at the 25 minute mark. 
  • Rest the chicken – loosely tent with foil to keep the chicken warm. Allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the pan sauce. This lets the meat relax and the juices to distribute throughout so you cut into a tender, juicy chicken breast.

How to Store Leftovers

Chicken is a meal prep staple at our house, perfect for making wraps and salads for lunch. Roast an extra breast or two to have on hand. Transfer leftover chicken to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. 

A forkful of juicy roasted bone-in chicken breast and pan sauce.

Side Dishes for a Perfect Pairing

Serve your main dish chicken with any of these accompaniments for a winner of a dinner!

Pan roasted skin-on chicken breast with an herb butter sauce.

Juicy Pan Roasted Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts

Linda Feller
Bone-in split chicken breasts yield the best results when you want a roast chicken dinner! They're easy to prepare, tender, juicy and delicious!
Prep time.40 minutes
Cook time.40 minutes
Total time.1 hour 20 minutes
Course.Main Course
Number of servings.2
Calories per serving.436 kcal



  • 2 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary + parsley*


  • Remove chicken breasts from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking. Trim excess fat away and pat the skin dry.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine 1/4 tsp of kosher salt, garlic powder and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Create a pocket between the skin and meat along one side without removing it. Use the remaining 1/4 tsp kosher salt to season the meat under the skin. Replace the skin so it covers the meat, then rub olive oil over the chicken skin.
  • Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. (The skillet should be large enough to hold both breasts; I love cast iron for this job.) Sear the chicken, skin side down, for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. As the skin browns, season the underside of the breasts with some of the garlic seasoning blend.
  • Turn off the heat. Flip the breasts over and season the skin side with the remaining garlic seasoning blend.
  • Roast the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center of the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • When done, remove the skillet from the oven (be careful, the handle will be hot!) and set it back on your cooktop. Transfer the chicken breasts to a platter and loosely tent with foil to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn the burner on low just to maintain the residual heat of the skillet. Pour the lemon juice into the pan, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. Add the butter and herbs and stir until the butter has melted. Taste and season with salt + pepper as needed. Pour the lemon butter sauce around or over the chicken, or serve it on the side.


  • Great for meal prep, roast an extra breast or two. Transfer leftover chicken to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. 
  • *Feel free to use any fresh herbs you like. Thyme and sage are great options that are also easy to find. Chervil and tarragon, if you like anise flavors, would also be nice.


Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 787mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 671IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords.oven, stove top
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  1. I found the recipe good. Chicken was moist. Normally I’m not using rosemary and the lemon flavor was tart. I added little honey to it and that made it good. I make this again.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Annelie! When you make it again, use any fresh herbs you like to use. Thyme or sage would also be nice. Rosemary can come off pretty strong sometimes. Adding honey is a great idea to temper the lemon!