As you can probably tell, I love roast chicken. I've already posted a couple of different ways to roast chicken pieces on the grill. But, when I was working on my White Chicken Chili recipe* I realized that I hadn't posted this method, which is the one I use when I don't feel like grilling.
*The white chicken chili recipe is coming, I promise.
The searing step gives this chicken recipe the crispiest skin I can make - except maybe for rotisserie chicken on a charcoal grill. As a bonus, if you use all thighs, or cut chicken breast pieces in half, you can be done in about 45 minutes, which qualifies as an ambitious weeknight dinner for me.
- 3 to 4 lbs chicken pieces (Breasts, Thighs, Legs, Drumsticks all work)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- Zest and Juice of ½ of a lemon
1. Prep the chicken: Liberally salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat the oil a 12" skillet (NOT nonstick) over medium-high heat, until shimmering and just starting to show wisps of smoke.
2. Cook the chicken: Put the chicken pieces in the skillet, skin side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, about 5-8 minutes. Flip the chicken, and cook the other side until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Drain any excess fat out of the pan, then put the pan in the preheated oven and cook until the chicken is 160F in breasts, or 170F in thighs, about 10 minutes (thighs, halved breasts) to 20 minutes (whole breasts), depending on the size of the pieces. Remove the chicken to a plate.
3. Make a pan sauce from the drippings: If there's more than a teaspoon or two of fat left in the pan, pour it out (try to save any chicken juices if they're still there.) Put the pan back over medium heat (be careful with the handle- it will be rocket hot). Wait until the drippings start to sizzle, then add the garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and boil, scraping the pan to loosen the browned chicken drippings into the sauce. Boil until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Add any juices on the plate with the chicken, then remove from the heat, and add the lemon zest and juice to the pan. Stir to combine, taste for seasoning (it should be highly seasoned - add salt and pepper if necessary), and serve on the side with the chicken.
For the sauce: replace the garlic with some diced shallot
*This is a quick weeknight meal - about 30 to 45 minutes end to end, depending on how long it takes to cook the chicken.
*Look at me, bringing out the big gun cooking terms! Don't make me drop some cooking French on you!
Cook's Illustrated Pan Roasted Chicken recipe
Pam Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book