NOTE: Recipe calls for 16 (3-ounce) skinless boned chicken breasts, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, or 8
(10-ounce) bone-in leg-thigh pieces, or a combination of these. Skin the leg-thigh pieces, then bone each piece along the length of the two bones, leaving meat in one piece. Trim off excess fat. Pound each breast or leg-thigh fillet to 1/2 inch thick. Let the chicken come to room temperature before blackening.
Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat until it is extremely hot and just short of the point at which you see white ash or a white spot forming in the skillet bottom, about 8 minutes. (the time will vary according to the intensity of the heat source.) Heat the serving plates in a 250F oven. Just before cooking each piece of chicken, dip it in the melted butter so that both sides are well coated, then sprinkle each
Immediately place the fillet skinned side down in the hot skillet, making sure all meat folds are opened up and the meat is lying flat. Pour about 1 teaspoon butter on the top of the fillet (be careful, as the butter may flame up). If you cook more that 1 fillet at a time, place each fillet in the skillet before buttering and seasoning another one. Cook uncovered over the same high heat until the underside forms a crust, about 2 minutes. (The time will vary according to the thickness of the
Paul Prudhomme warns, "Blackening should be done either outdoors or in a commercial kitchen. The process creates an incredible amount of smoke that will set off your own and your neighbors' smoke alarms. People with really well-installed commercial hood vents at home have gotten away with blackening in their own kitchens. They are privileged! Don't push your luck."