Chicken breasts with a quick pan sauce. Simple cooking at its best.
- 4 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 small shallot, minced fine
- 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water
- 2-3 thyme sprigs
- 1 rosemary sprig
- Zest and juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Chicken: Heat the oven to 350*F. If the chicken breasts came with the rib section still attached, remove the ribs. (I use my kitchen scissors for this; see picture, below.) Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature until the pan is heated. (If you have the time, you can dry brine the chicken by salting it the night before, up to 24 hours in advance, and leaving it in the refrigerator. Or, you can brine the chicken. Dissolve 1 cup of kosher salt in 2 quarts of water, then soak the chicken in this brine for 1 to 4 hours. Pat dry with paper towels before using.)
- Sear the chicken: Put the teaspoon of oil in the fry pan and heat over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Swirl the oil around to coat the pan, then add the chicken, skin side down. Sear until the skin is a dark golden brown, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear until the bone side is browned, about 4 minutes.
- Roast the Chicken: Move the pan to the oven and roast until the chicken reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the meat, about 15 minutes. (The best way to check this is with a remote probe thermometer.) Using an oven mitt or pot holder, move the pan from the oven to a burner on the stove turned to medium heat, and move the chicken to a serving plate.
- Make the Sauce: Remember, the handle is still rocket hot! Add the shallot to the pan and sauté for 1 minute, until the shallot is softened. Add the chicken stock and herbs, then turn the heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all the browned bits stuck to the pan, then boil the stock until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. The plate holding the chicken breasts will have some chicken juice on the bottom; add it to the pan. Turn off the heat, remove the herb sprigs, and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk the butter into the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. You want the sauce to be highly seasoned; don't be afraid to add more salt or pepper if it needs it.
- Serve: Spoon a teaspoon of sauce over each breast, then serve, passing the rest of the sauce on the side.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Saute
- Cuisine: American