Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (Ovens take at least 20 minutes to warm up.)
Rub the chicken all over with a good amount of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. If you have it, sprinkle on Cajun spice mix.
Heat a frying pan over high heat for a few minutes. If it gets too hot and starts to smoke, take it off the stove to cool a bit. Put the chicken, breast side down, in the dry pan. Your chicken should sizzle. Don’t move it around, because the skin is becoming crispy and browned.
After about three minutes, flip the chicken over with tongs and put it in the oven to finish cooking. (If you’re not using an oven-safe frying pan, transfer the chicken to a baking dish first.)
After about 15 minutes, take the chicken out to check it. If it’s done, it will register 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. If a metal fork or a skewer stuck inside the breast for 30 seconds doesn’t feel hot when you pull it out and hold it against your skin, or the chicken feels spongy when you poke it, it’s not there yet. Put it back in for another five minutes.
Take the chicken out and let it rest for five minutes so the juices settle before eating.
BONUS LESSON: Make a sauce by deglazing the pan.