I find I do not make a lot boneless chicken breast dinners anymore. Actually, I shouldn’t say that; I don’t actually buy a lot of boneless chicken breasts anymore. The problem is that the boneless breasts often cost a lot more money then bone-in chicken breasts and you can just as easily cut the meat off the bone and make your own boneless breasts to cook and then you still have the option of keeping the skin on to get crispy flavor and you can use the bones, roast them with some salt and pepper and use them to make some tasty chicken stock for another use. I was able to get a family pack of bone-in chicken breasts for about $6.00 the other day and it gave me 5 large chicken breasts that I took off the bone and did just that with and we got many meals out of that six dollars. I went back and bought another package and made some of the chicken breasts using this simple pan roasting recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that was quick and easy and made a great little sauce to flavor the chicken along the way.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts
4 (10-12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed and brined if desired
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 large fresh sage leaves, each leaf torn in half
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
Using kitchen shears, trim off the rib section from the chicken breasts. If you are brining the chicken, dissolve 1 cup of kosher salt in 2 quarts of cold tap water in a large container or bowl; submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate it until it is fully seasoned, about 30 minutes. Rinse the chicken pieces under running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with pepper.
Adjust an oven rack to lowest position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until it is beginning to smoke; swirl the skillet to coat it with oil. Brown the chicken skin-side down until it is deep golden, about 5 minutes; turn the chicken pieces and brown them until they are golden on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Turn the chicken skin-side down and place the skillet in the oven. Roast the chicken until the juices run clear when the chicken is cut with a paring knife, or the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, and let it rest while making the sauce. (If you are not making the sauce, let the chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.)
Using a pot-holder to protect your hands from the hot skillet handle, pour off most of the fat from the skillet; add the shallot, then set the skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, vermouth, and sage leaves; increase the heat to high and simmer the mixture rapidly, scraping the skillet bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour the accumulated chicken juices into the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, and whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time; season to taste with salt and pepper and discard the sage leaves. Spoon the sauce around the chicken breasts and serve immediately.
That’s all there is to it. You can have tender, moist chicken with a nice crispy skin and make a great little sauce all in under 30 minutes. The brining does add some extra seasoning and helps to make the chicken moist but it is not a must for this recipe at all. We all really liked the simple sauce which had nice flavor from the sage and vermouth and if you didn’t want the bones in this one you could remove all the bones when you are cutting out the rib section. It was an easy, flavorful dish perfect for a weeknight dinner.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!